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Testing and Treatment FAQs

  • Where can I get free, public COVID-19 testing or treatment?

    Last Updated: 10/18/2021
    Free COVID-19 testing is available at many locations across the state. Below, you can find a list of free public testing locations in New Jersey by county, including short-term pop-up testing sites...
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  • How can I get testing or treatment for COVID-19 if I'm uninsured or undocumented? How do I cover health costs associated with COVID-19?

    Last Updated: 07/14/2021
    COVID-19 testing and treatment is available to everyone in New Jersey regardless of their insurance or immigration status. Below you will find resources for free testing and treatment as well as ho...
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  • What happens if I test positive? How long do I need to stay home?

    Last Updated: 06/17/2021
    If you test positive for COVID-19, a New Jersey contact tracer will reach out to you with life-saving information about how best to protect yourself and your loved ones. COVID-19 is mainly spread f...
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  • Can a person test negative and later test positive for COVID-19?

    Viral tests are used to gauge whether you have a current infection. A negative result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the person's sample. This probably means that the pe...
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  • What type of COVID-19 test should I get and when should I get it? What’s the difference between a molecular/PCR, antigen, and antibody test?

    Last Updated: 05/25/2021
    If you want to find out if you are currently infected with COVID-19, get a diagnostic test. These tests are now available to everyone in New Jersey. You don't need insurance and free testing is ava...
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  • How many people have gotten COVID-19 vaccines in New Jersey? How is New Jersey collecting and protecting vaccination data?

    Last Updated: 05/04/2021
    For the latest number of COVID-19 vaccines administered by county, race/ethnicity, age, and gender, refer to the vaccination overview tab on the Department of Health's COVID-19 dashboard. The dashb...
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  • I was tested for COVID-19. How do I get my results?

    Last Updated: 07/14/2020
    Please follow the instructions from your testing site on how to get your test results. Pharmacies, local testing sites, physician's offices, hospitals, and other testing sites operate independently...
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  • How is New Jersey increasing access to COVID-19 testing?

    Last Updated: 06/22/2021
    Expanding access to COVID-19 testing has been a core principle of New Jersey's recovery plan for promoting public health and restoring economic health. New Jersey has been: increasing diagnostic t...
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  • Should I get tested if I do not have symptoms of COVID-19?

    Last Updated: 10/19/2021
    Note: Fully vaccinated people without symptoms do not need to get tested, but should still monitor for symptoms for 14 days following an exposure. You could have COVID-19 and not even know it. Prot...
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  • Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating the COVID-19?

    No. According to the World Health Organization, antibiotics do not work against viruses. They only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibioti...
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  • Should I take over-the-counter medication to reduce my fever if I think I have COVID-19?

    Over-the-counter options for fever reducers include ibuprofen and acetaminophen. The World Health Organization (WHO) has clarified that it does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen as a self-...
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  • How should I take care of someone at home?

    Most people who get sick with COVID-19 will have only mild illness and should recover at home.* Care at home can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and help protect people who are at risk for getting...
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  • What does pooled testing mean?

    To save supplies, especially in situations where resources are limited, and test more people, pooled testing may be implemented. Pooled testing means taking samples from multiple people, storing pa...
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  • Is it possible to use convalescent serum - antibodies from those who have recovered from COVID-19 - to treat others?

    This is a strategy that is currently being tested. The concept of giving antibodies from one person to another to protect from disease is called passive immunization. You may also hear about this i...
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  • How are suspected COVID-19 cases confirmed?

    People suspected of being infected by the COVID-19 virus will have respiratory samples (i.e. mucus) taken by healthcare professionals that will then be analyzed by public health labs, hospital labs...
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  • What does random testing mean?

    Random testing means selecting people for a test arbitrarily. Take, for example, a test meant to figure out how common COVID-19 exposure is in a town of 10,000 people. Testing everyone who works at...
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  • Should contacts of contacts be tested?

    Last Updated: 10/19/2021
    Being the contact of someone who had close contact with a COVID-19-postive person does not require testing. For example, if you have a coworker whose family member is a confirmed case, you are not ...
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  • Are commercial laboratories conducting COVID-19 testing required to share information with the Department of Health?

    Last Updated: 03/25/2020
    In a joint letter to commercial laboratory operators, Jared M. Maples, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and the Chair of the New Jersey Domestic Security Prep...
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  • Is it possible to test if someone had the virus but is cured now?

    Serological tests (tests that look for antibodies specific to a bacteria or virus) are a common diagnostic for other infections and could be developed. A serological test could tell you if you have...
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  • How does the CDC COVID-19 test work?

    CDC recommends collecting and testing a single upper respiratory sample. This sample is then processed. Using a technique called real-time reverse transcriptase (RT)-polymerase chain reaction (PCR)...
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  • How does a typical COVID-19 test work?

    The tests generally take a sample from a patient and process it so that the virus's specific genetic signature can be detected. Drafted 16 March 2020
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  • What do I do if I am sick?

    If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. If you think you may have COVID-19, contact your healthcare pr...
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  • What happens when you get COVID-19 and it’s bad enough that you need to be treated in the hospital?

    Because COVID-19 is a new disease, treatment guidelines are changing quite reguarly. To learn about what you might expect if hospitalized due to novel coronavirus infection, check out the up-to-dat...
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  • Should I be tested for COVID-19?

    The CDC advises that people should be tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19, have had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more) with someone with conf...
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  • Are there therapies available to treat COVID-19?

    Scientists are currently testing different types of antivirals. Remdesivir is one treatment that's been shown in a clinical trial to have an effect on COVID-19. Results from that trial, which inclu...
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  • Is there a test for COVID-19?

    Yes. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a test that is used to diagnose the COVID-19 virus in most public health laboratories. In addition, many hospital and commerci...
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  • How do I know if I have the virus?

    Symptoms can appear anywhere from 2-14 days after exposure. Symptoms consist of fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. If any of those symptoms occur, call your doctor to discuss next steps or g...
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  • What symptoms should I look out for when taking care of someone at home? When do I know it is time to seek immediate medical attention for them?

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has thorough guidelines for caring for individuals with COVID-19 at home. Drafted 3 December 2020
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  • How do I treat the symptoms of someone who is sick at home?

    Kindly visit the CDC's website for information on how to care for someone sick at home. Updated: 16 October 2020
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  • Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I already got COVID?

    Last Updated: 10/06/2021
    Yes, you should get a COVID-19 vaccine even if you already had COVID-19 because: Research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again after you recover from COVID-19. ...
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  • What has the State done to expand vaccine capacity and access?

    Last Updated: 10/05/2021
    Appointments for COVID-19 vaccines are available across New Jersey to anyone 12 years and older who lives, works, or studies in the state. There is currently widespread vaccine availability across ...
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  • Who should get a booster shot or third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

    Last Updated: 09/30/2021
    If you are 65 or older, a long-term care resident, an adult with underlying medical conditions, or an adult at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure because of your job or living situation, you are e...
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  • Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Last Updated: 09/28/2021
    COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. Evidence...
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  • What are monoclonal antibodies? Can they be used for treatment if I test positive for COVID-19?

    Last Updated: 09/28/2021
    Antibodies are proteins that our bodies make to fight viruses, such as the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies made in a laboratory act a lot like natural antibodies to limit the amount of virus...
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  • Are vaccine sites accessible to individuals with disabilities?

    Last Updated: 09/21/2021
    Community-based sites have been designed to meet the needs of all residents in the state. These sites meet ADA accessibility standards, and special arrangements are made for those with mobility and...
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  • Are COVID-19 vaccines safe and effective? How were they tested and approved?

    Last Updated: 09/01/2021
    All currently approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and will help protect you from getting COVID-19. Currently, the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are being...
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  • What can I expect at my COVID-19 vaccine appointment?

    Last Updated: 07/16/2021
    Before Your Appointment Taking over-the-counter medicine, like ibuprofen, aspirin, antihistamines, or acetaminophen, is NOT recommended before vaccination because it is unknown how these medication...
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  • How can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m homebound?

    Last Updated: 05/17/2021
    If you are unable to leave the home to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or are the healthcare provider or family caregiver of someone who is homebound, you may request an in-home vaccination appointment ...
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  • Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I am undocumented?

    Last Updated: 04/19/2021
    Yes. Everyone 12 or older who lives, works, or studies in New Jersey is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. If you are uninsured, you can still receive a vaccine. The vaccine is free – there i...
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