COVID-19 Testing FAQ

What should you do if you test positive for COVID-19?

If you test positive, you should stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Learn more about symptoms and when you should seek medical care.


I have symptoms and think I might have COVID-19. Should I get tested?

If you have any of the COVID-19 symptoms, make sure you wear a tight-fitting mask and adhere to physical distancing. We also encourage you to get tested. You can use an at-home antigen test or schedule an appointment for a PCR test at any one of the testing locations in New Hampshire.

  • Dartmouth Health offers PCR tests at several locations.
  • You can schedule COVID-19 testing at Dartmouth Health locations using myDH.

Learn more about at-home antigen tests on the CDC website.

Where can I get an at-home antigen test?

COVID-19 at-home antigen tests are available at most retail pharmacies and large retailers. As of January 15, 2022, most Americans can get COVID-19 home tests at no cost through their private insurance. Depending on your type of insurance, you may have the COVID-19 test paid for at the time of purchase, or you will need to submit a claim to your insurance.

I used an at-home test and tested positive. Should I also take a PCR test?

If you have a positive result using an at-home test, this means that you are positive for COVID-19. You do not need to get a PCR test for confirmation. You should begin your isolation at home immediately and let your close contacts know of your positive test.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms and a negative at-home test, you can schedule a confirmation PCR test.

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Isolation and quarantine guidelines continue to change.

  • If you test positive for COVID-19, regardless of your vaccination status, you need to isolate in you home and stay away from other people for at least 5 days, whether or not you have symptoms.
  • If you are not up-to-date with your vaccinations and you come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you need to quarantine for at least 5 days according to the latest CDC recommendations.
  • If you are up-to-date with your vaccinations and come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine.

Learn more about isolation and quarantine guidelines:

I have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, and I don’t have any symptoms. What should I do?

If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, follow these guidelines from the CDC:

  • If you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, and you do not develop any symptoms, you do not need to quarantine, but you should get tested at least 5 days after you had close contact with the infected person.
  • If you are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, you need to quarantine for 5 days.
  • Even if you don’t develop any symptoms, you need to get tested at least 5 days after contact.
  • If you start to develop symptoms, get tested.

I tested positive for COVID-19 and I have symptoms. How do I know when to call my doctor?

Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. It’s important to get a lot of rest, drink fluids, and keep track of your symptoms. You do not need to call your provider if your symptoms are mild. Here are some general guidelines for when you should seek medical care.