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What should you do if you're exposed to or have symptoms of COVID-19?


We've had a lot of questions about what people should do if they learn they've been exposed or if they have symptoms that could be COVID-19. This page was originally released 7/2/2020 and is updated as needed - see date above. 

Testing is discussed in detail towards the bottom of this page. Your child might qualify for testing for COVID-19 if he or she meets the criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • If you have concerns about exposure but there are no symptoms, staying home for 14 days from the potential exposure is the most prudent course. This can help limit spread in the community. There may be false negative tests, especially in people prior to symptom development, so a negative test will not indicate that it is safe to leave the home. 
  • If mild to moderate symptoms develop, please contact our office during normal business hours to discuss current recommendations for testing.
  • If severe symptoms develop, please contact us or an emergency department for further instructions.
  • See the bottom of the page for a printable pdf.
 For KSHAA student athletes: If you have a positive COVID-19 screen you will need medical clearance prior to returning to practice and play. Please call our office to schedule a clearance exam when your student is feeling well and recovered. Learn more from KSHAA.

If you feel healthy but recently had close contact* with a person with COVID-19:

Stay Home and Monitor Your Health (Quarantine)

  • Stay home until 14 days after your last exposure
  • Check your temperature twice a day and watch for symptoms** of COVID-19
  • If possible, stay away from people who are at higher-risk for getting very sick from COVID-19
         *Close contact is being within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more, hugging or kissing, sharing food/utensils, or being coughed or sneezed upon.

         **Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches or pains
  • Headache
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Fatigue 
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Congestion or runny nose              

If you:

  • Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or
  • Are waiting for test results or
  • Have cough, fever, or shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19

Isolate Yourself from Others (Isolation)

  • Stay home until it is safe to be around others - click here for details on when it's safe
  • If you live with others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area and away from other people or animals, including pets. Use a separate bathroom, if available. 


Ending isolation/quarantine

 - If you think you have had or know you have had COVID-19:

     You can be with others after

  • 24 hours fever free without any fever reducing medications (7/17/2020and 
  • Respiratory symptoms have improved (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) and 
  • 10 days since symptoms first appeared


 - If you have tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms 

     If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after:

  • 10 days have passed since test

Note that recommendations for discontinuing isolation in persons known to be infected with COVID-19 could, in some circumstances, appear to conflict with recommendations on when to discontinue quarantine for persons known to have been exposed to COVID-19. CDC recommends 14 days of quarantine after exposure based on the time it takes to develop illness if infected. Thus, it is possible that a person known to be infected could leave isolation earlier than a person who is quarantined because of the possibility they are infected.



Testing Information

There are two main types of tests for COVID-19:
  • Viral tests detect if you have an active infection. Testing sites below offer this type of test.
  • Antibody tests may show if you have had a past infection and are now immune. These are not used to identify an active infection and are generally only recommended if you know you had COVID-19 and want to donate plasma. A positive antibody test cannot guarantee immunity at this time.

Patients without symptoms or with mild to moderate symptoms will likely not be tested for the virus due to shortages of testing supplies.

Treatment is not determined by test results. 

There are false negative tests, so a test cannot determine if it is safe to return to leave your home isolation.

A positive test does not change the course of the illness. There is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill should self- isolate, practice social distancing and care for themselves at home.

Testing locations:

Overland Park Regional Pediatric ER:

  • If mildly to moderately symptomatic: anyone under 18 years of age with symptoms of CVODI-19 can be tested at the OPR Pediatric ER but they must have an order. Please contact our office during regular business hours to schedule a telemedicine visit to determine if testing is appropriate for your child.
  • If severe symptoms: call us or the emergency department for instructions.

Children's Mercy (any location):

  • If asymptomatic (no symptoms): Children's Mercy will only test if it is prior to a procedure. Anyone who has been exposed should self isolate at home and if symptoms develop will become eligilble for testing. This is due to high false negative rates during the asymptomatic phase of infection and the need to preserve testing supplies.
  • Symptomatic children require a prescription to be tested. Children's Mercy will begin offering drive-up COVID testing for pediatric patients beginning August 4. A physician order will be required to receive testing. Once the order is received, Children's Mercy will contact the patient to schedule a time for their testing. 
  • Testing at Children's Mercy requires a prescription. Your child will need to be seen by one of our physicians or nurse practitioners (in person or by telemedicine visit) or by one of the Children's Mercy providers to determine if your child meets testing criteria to be tested at Children's Mercy.

Care Now (Corbin Park, State Line Road, Overland Park North):

  • If mildly to moderately symptomatic: anyone over 3 months of age can be tested but must be seen by one of their providers first. 
  • If severe symptoms: an emergency department is more appropriate than an urgent care.

St. Luke's:

  • All patients must have an order from a St. Luke's provider to be tested.

Johnson County Health Department:

  • The Johnson County Health Department will test anyone over 12 years of age, both symptomatic and asymptomatic if they are unable to be tested elsewhere.
  • You do NOT need a prescription, but you DO need an appointment.
  • See the JoCo HD website for details and to schedule your appointment.

For more on testing see Dr. Stuppy's blog on the topic.

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