CHATTANOOGA, Tenn – With increased testing and delayed test results, the Hamilton County Health Department is asking citizens to be proactive in managing the COVID-19 pandemic beginning even before they learn the result of their test.

If you test positive, or if you are waiting for your test results, you must remain at home and begin the ten-day isolation period.

  • Separate yourself from others in the home.
  • Monitor your symptoms and seek medical care immediately if they worsen.
  • Wear a mask to prevent household spread.
  • Do not return to work, run errands, or visit anyone.
  • Ask family or friends to deliver groceries in a no-contact manner.
  • Make a list of your close contacts and notify them of your status. Ask them to quarantine for 14 days from the date of your last contact and monitor themselves for symptoms.

A “close contact” is someone who was within 6 feet of you for a total of 15 minutes or more beginning 2 days prior to your test date, or 2 days prior to your onset of symptoms.

More information about what to do if you test positive:

If your test comes back negative, the test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing.

  • Continue to take steps to protect yourself and others. If you learn you were a close contact to a positive case, you must
  • Stay home and quarantine for 14 days from the last day of contact.
  • Monitor yourself for symptoms and get tested as soon as symptoms develop.

More information about what to do if you are a close contact:

“A person’s call to action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 begins at the time they develop symptoms, take the test, or receive knowledge that they are a close contact to a positive case,” said Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes.

If you have questions about a positive test result, or what to do if you are a close contact, call the Health Department’s informational hotline at (423) 209-8383. Free Health Department COVID-19 testing is available 7 days a week at the Alstom Plant site from 8:30AM to 1:00PM, with the exception of the holiday weekend. The testing site and the hotline will be closed this Thursday and Friday and will resume regular hours on Saturday.

Free transportation to the testing site is available by calling (423) 209-8383. Everyone in the car should be wearing a mask, whether they are in the same household or not, and whether they are getting tested or not.