COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions title with virus image

I was told I was exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 and told to stay home for the recommended 14 days.  Will public health be giving me verification to return to work?

  • No, it is not the role of the Scott County Health Department to release individuals to return to work activities.  When we contact you as a contact of a positive case, we will give you guidance on the date when you can return to normal activities, as long as you have not developed symptoms during that time.  We encourage you to share this guidance and return date with your employer.

I recently traveled outside of Iowa and was diagnosed with COVID-19.  How long do I need to isolate?

  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and don’t have symptoms, you will be guided to self-isolate for 10 days from the date of your positive test result.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms, you will be guided to self-isolate until you meet the following:
    • 3 days fever free, without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND
    • symptoms are improving, AND
    • it has been at least 10 days symptoms started. 
  • Self-isolate means:
    • Stay home and do not go to school, public areas, or attend gatherings.
    • Do not use public transportation, ride sharing, or taxis.
    • Postpone all travel.
    • Wash your hands often and practice good hygiene.
    • Postpone all non-essential medical appointments until you have completed your 10 days of self-isolation. If you have an essential medical appointment during this time, please work with your healthcare provider and local public health professionals as needed to help coordinate the visit.
    • Follow this plan: COVID-19: What to Do When You are Sick

I tested positive for COVID-19, and have passed my isolation period.  Is it safe to visit my grandma or other family?

  • If you are past your self-isolation period, you are able to go about your normal activities.  We still encourage you to be cautious when out and about by making sure to social distance, wear a mask when you can’t social distance, and wash your hands often.  Remember, if a member of your family is of advanced age or has pre-existing conditions, they could be more likely to get more severe illness from the coronavirus or other viruses that are circulating.

I am having difficulty on TestIowa with getting an appointment time and location.

  • TestIowa is a COVID-19 testing program coordinated by the Office of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.  The site does have a chat box on the bottom right that may help you get your questions answered.  You can also call:  515-575-2131 or 844-844-1561 (toll free) Phone lines are open 8am - 8pm, 7 days a week (except holiday).

Does my place of business need to close because there has been a positive case of COVID-19?  Is my employer supposed to tell me of a positive case in my building?

  • When an individual tests positive for COVID-19, a staff member from the Scott County Health Department will contact the individual to learn more about when they were most likely infectious and who they were around.  If the individual was at work during this time period, our staff member will contact the employer to provide guidance and answer any questions they may have.  This will include helping to determine how likely the positive individual was to exposing others and describing how to appropriately clean and respond with any needed closure.
  • It is not a requirement of public health that a business tell every employee that an individual has tested positive in their establishment.  Individuals that were considered close contacts to the positive individual will be made aware of their exposure.  Other individuals would not be considered a close contact of the individual and have a very low chance of having been exposed to the virus.  Each business will make their own decisions of how to handle communication of a positive case in their establishment.
  • Remember, there is community spread of COVID-19 in our community and there are risks for getting exposed to COVID-19 in other areas besides your place of employment.

Why aren’t people in food service wearing masks and gloves?

  • Iowa bars and restaurants are not required to wear masks and gloves as part of the Governor’s emergency proclamation for the COVID-19 pandemic.  Establishments are requirement to make sure there is at least 6 feet of space between groups of people or individuals and they must also take reasonable measures such as increased hygiene practices and other measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
  • These same establishments are provided a number of recommendations that are considered best-practices during this time.
  • Many establishments have made the decision to wear masks and gloves to help protect their patrons as well as employees.
  • https://dia.iowa.gov/document/iowa-bar-and-restaurant-reopening-and-operating-criteria-during-covid-19

What about antibody testing?