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If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 but is not yet having symptoms, you should wait 6 days after you were exposed to get tested.
If you are not having symptoms but are at a higher risk of exposure or at a higher risk for severe disease, you are also eligible for testing. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine if you need testing.
Each person who needs testing will need to complete the online assessment form to see if they qualify for testing. Only one appointment is needed per vehicle. Follow these steps:
The persons needing testing should be seated by a window that rolls down.
Following CDC guidelines, if your test comes back positive and you had symptoms, you should stay home and, as much as possible, avoid others in your household until you can say yes to ALL three of the following questions:
Following CDC guidelines, if your test comes back positive and you did not have symptoms, you should stay home and isolate (avoid anyone in your household) until 10 days have passed since the date of your first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, assuming you did not develop symptoms since your positive test.
Additionally, if you have tested positive for COVID-19, the local health department or another member of the COVID19 Community Team will call to ensure you have the information and support you need, such as tips for staying at home and monitoring symptoms.
To protect your family and friends and slow the spread of the virus, the COVID-19 Community Team member will also ask you who you have recently been near – for example, people living in your household or people who have been within 6 feet of you for more than 15 minutes. The COVID-19 Community Team will reach out to anyone who has been near you to share information and support, as well as help them get tested. They should stay home and quarantine until 14 days after the last time they were in contact with you while you were able to spread the infection. The team will not share your name or personal information. This information is confidential and will remain private. However, if you are comfortable, please share this information with everyone in your household and any of your close contacts. If the COVID-19 Community Team does not get in contact with you, please call your local health department.
If you were tested because you have symptoms, you should stay home until you have no fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines, and you have felt well for at least 24 hours.
If you were tested because you have symptoms and a healthcare provider still thinks you have COVID-19, even with a negative test, you should stay home and, as much as possible, avoid others in your household until you can say yes to ALL three of the following questions:
If you were tested because of a known contact with someone with COVID-19, you should stay home and quarantine (avoid anyone in your household) based on current CDC guidance. In the general community, quarantine can be ended if any of the following criteria are met:
If quarantine is discontinued before day 14, the individual must continue to monitor symptoms and strictly adhere to wearing a mask AND practice social distancing (staying 6 feet apartment from others) through 14 days after the date of last exposure.
Local health department staff will help to determine when your quarantine period can end.
Having a negative test during that period is a good thing, but there is still a chance that it may take up to 14 days after exposure to COVID-19 for the virus to present itself and infect someone. That’s why it is important that you monitor your symptoms closely. If you develop any of the above symptoms*, then you may have COVID-19. Check with your medical provider, the COVID-19 Community Team, or get tested again.
If you were tested for another reason that is not because of a known or suspected contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and has no symptoms, then you can resume your regular activities.
Everyone should continue to practice the 3 Ws (Wear. Wait. Wash.) whenever they leave home. Wearing a cloth covering over your mouth and nose if you will be with other people, waiting 6 feet apart from others, and washing your hands often can help protect you and your loved ones from the spread of this virus.
The best way to fight COVID-19 is to start first with vaccines aimed at helping to slow the spread and save lives.
Talk with your health care provider or employer about where your spot is based on your health and job status. How quickly North Carolina moves through each group will depend on the available vaccine supply. Currently, supplies are very limited. We find out the week before how many doses of each vaccine we will receive from the federal government for the following week. This makes it difficult to know when we will move to the next group.
Right now, vaccine supplies are improving, but are still limited. Information on where to take your shot against COVID-19 is available at YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov. If it is your turn, your local health department or hospital can help you get your shot. Vaccination events are also available in some communities.
Find My Spot is an easy-to-use online tool to help individuals find their spot to get a vaccination in NC, including vaccine provider locations and contact information. North Carolinians enter their ZIP code or current location to find nearby vaccine providers. The Find a Vaccine Location tool will be updated regularly. Users should contact vaccine providers directly to see if they have vaccines and schedule appointments.
Because supplies are limited, you may have to wait even if your group is eligible. Most doctors cannot provide vaccinations in their offices. As vaccines become more widely available, vaccinations will be offered to everyone who wants one in clinics and pharmacies, as well as vaccination events in communities. We will continue to expand the available sites so that people have a spot where they can easily get their vaccine.
When it’s your turn, you can get your shot from any local health department in the state, no matter where you live. Be sure to schedule your vaccine appointment through a legitimate provider. You can find local vaccine providers through the NCDHHS Find My Spot tool. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein offers tips on how to avoid vaccine scams.
If you are getting a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, you can get the first dose anywhere. You will need to get your second shot from the same vaccine provider. The federal government automatically ships your second vaccine dose to the same provider who gave you your first dose.
Everyone who is vaccinated will be registered so that vaccine providers know who has been vaccinated and with which vaccine to make sure people get the second dose of the same vaccine at the right time. Most people vaccinated in North Carolina will be registered in COVID-19 Vaccine Management System (CVMS). Vaccine providers can register people in CVMS before their appointment. This pre-registration will send an email to the individual with online questions to complete before their vaccine appointment.
Vaccine providers can also register people by phone or when they arrive in-person for their vaccine appointment. If the vaccine provider registers the individual in-person, an email address is not required. Pharmacies, such as CVS and Walgreens, doing vaccinations in long-term care facilities or the federal retail pharmacy program do not use CVMS to register patients before giving vaccines. These pharmacies will use their own system
To save lives and slow the spread of COVID-19, independent state and federal public health advisory committees recommend first protecting health care workers, people who are at the highest risk of being hospitalized or dying and those at high risk of exposure to COVID-19. We are currently vaccinating people in the following groups as defined below:
Group 1: Health care workers & Long-Term Care staff and residents
Any health care worker with in-person patient contact may now be vaccinated. Hospitals will give vaccines to staff on different days in case they have temporary reactions that may prevent them from working for a day or two. Long-term care staff and residents are also one of the first groups who will receive a vaccine. Most vaccinations at nursing homes, adult care homes and other long-term care settings are being managed by the federal government. However, the vaccines used in long-term care will come from North Carolina’s supply.
Group 2: Older adults
COVID-19 vaccinations are now available to people 65 and older. All people age 65 and older will be eligible to be vaccinated in this group. People 75 and older are prioritized to be vaccinated first, when possible. There is no requirement to have certain qualifying chronic conditions.Because vaccine supplies are still limited, anyone eligible for vaccination may have to wait.As more vaccines become available, vaccinations will be offered to everyone who wants one, including in clinics and drug stores, as well as at vaccination evens in communities.
Group 3: Frontline Essential Workers
Frontline essential workers are people who must be in-person at their place of work and work in one of these eight essential sectors: critical manufacturing, education, essential goods, food and agriculture, government and community services, health care and public health, public safety and transportation.
All frontline essential workers are now eligible to receive a vaccine. Because supplies are still limited, anyone eligible for vaccination may have to wait.
Group 4: Adults at High Risk for Exposure and Increased Risk of Severe Illness
Beginning on March 17, people in Group 4 who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk and people who live in additional congregate settings will be eligible for vaccination. The rest of Group 4, which includes other essential workers, will become eligible March 31.
North Carolina follows the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding who is at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as individuals with asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, sickle cell disease, obesity or smoking (a complete list is available in our Deeper Dive.) In addition, this population includes anyone who is living in higher risk congregate or close group living settings who is not already vaccinated, including people experiencing homelessness or living in a homeless shelter and people in a correctional facility, such as jail or prison.
Learn more about who is in Group 1, Group 2, Group 3 and Group 4.
NCDHHS has a specific focus on earning trust with historically marginalized populations. Longstanding and continuing racial and ethnic injustices in our health care system contribute to lack of trust in vaccines. The department is partnering with trusted leaders and organizations to provide accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines to all North Carolinians and ensure equitable access to vaccines.
It is the responsibility of all vaccine providers to ensure equitable access to vaccines. This means taking intentional actions to reach and engage historically marginalized communities, such as partnering with providers who serve these communities to make the vaccine more accessible.
NCDHHS is embedding racial, ethnic and geographic equity into all aspects of vaccine operations and holding itself and vaccine providers accountable.
No. North Carolina has no plan to require people to be vaccinated against COVID-19. It is possible that some employers or schools will require vaccines for their employees or students. Employers may ask if you have been vaccinated but cannot require that you share any other personal medical information.
Yes. To protect the health of North Carolinians and promote equity in vaccine distribution, people who spend significant time in North Carolina and are able to spread the virus in North Carolina should be vaccinated when and where they have access to a vaccine. Vaccine providers should vaccinate North Carolinians no matter what county they live in.
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