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Florida Department of Health in Escambia County Explains New COVID-19 Quarantine Options PCR Test Results Now Available Through Mobile App

By FDOH-Escambia

December 11, 2020

Pensacola, Fla. — Effective Monday, December 7, the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) is following the Department of Health’s newly issued COVID-19 quarantine options for close contacts to COVID-19 cases. These options are adapted from the CDC’s updates released last Wednesday. Close contacts are those individuals who have been within six feet of an infected individual for a cumulative of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, regardless of mask usage.

Quarantine is used to separate someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 and may develop illness away from other people. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they have the virus. The CDC continues to recommend a 14-day quarantine when possible. The new options reduce the burden of COVID-19 quarantines against a small possibility of spreading the virus. 

Quarantine can now be 10 days without testing or seven days after receiving a negative Molecular (PCR) test result taken on or after day six from exposure. The close contact must not have any symptoms of COVID-19 to stop full quarantine; persons ending quarantine earlier than the 14-day standard should do so only when they can continue to practice the recommended mitigation measures of social distancing, wearing face coverings, handwashing, and avoiding group interactions and close contact with other people. Exclusions for the new options include persons who are close contacts related to long-term care facilities, acute care facilities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. 

PCR results typically are available in two to five days from the test date. Appointments should be made in advance at some locations and to ensure you can be tested on day six or later from exposure. Some testing locations may require you to verbally request a PCR test.

After stopping quarantine, you should:

  • Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure
  • If you develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact FDOH-Escambia or your healthcare provider
  • Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash your hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 

The Healthy Together App is available for download on the App Store or Google Play and provides secure COVID-19 Molecular (PCR) test results. Once test results are received by the Department, a text message will be sent from the number 78549 to the phone number provided during the testing process. Recipients of the text message will be able to download Healthy Together and enter their date of birth and the phone number they provided during testing for authentication purposes to ensure the confidentiality of their results. Results will then be available in the app. App users will be provided with resources for protecting themselves and their close contacts and can choose to receive important COVID-19 updates from the Department. 

Sites for COVID-Testing in Escambia County 

Persons who become sick should call, do not visit, their health care provider and tell them about their symptoms and travel history or exposure to a COVID-19 patient. Persons who do not have a health care provider or health insurance, may call (do not visit) Community Health Northwest Florida at 850-436-4630 or other community walk-in care locations, and tell them about their symptoms and travel history or exposure to a COVID-19 patient. 

An online assessment screening for COVID-19 is available to determine if further diagnostic testing is needed. The screening can also be accessed by texting “Screen” to 850-318-3080. The screening is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also call the screening center at 850-434-4080 to determine if you need an appointment.

 

COVID-19 testing is available at several locations in Escambia County, including drive-thru and walk-up testing.

  • IMPORTANT: Pre-screening may be required before arriving at testing centers by calling the local COVID-19 Screening Call Center at 850-746-2684.
  • The screening call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The call center staff will assist in helping find the testing center that best fits the needs of each person needing a COVID-19 test.
  • The hours of operation for some testing centers for COVID-19 are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The call center staff will confirm the hours, as they vary by location and day of week. 

Testing sites and eligibility criteria vary and are subject to change. For more detailed information on testing sites, visit Escambia County’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage or call the Citizen Information Center at 850-471-6600. 

For More Information on COVID-19 

Visit the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 webpage for information on COVID-19If you have questions, please call the Department’s COVID-19 Call Centers available 24/7 at 1 (866) 779-6121 or email COVID-19@flhealth.gov

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The Florida Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. 

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