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Frequently Asked Questions


I've been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do? 


Please visit our exposure page here.


I do/do not have symptoms, but I think I need to be tested for COVID-19. Where can I go?


At this time, our healthcare providers are testing those with active symptoms. If you have active symptoms of COVID-19, please reach out to your healthcare provider to be tested, or the nurse line at Mayo or Gundersen. You may also be tested at one of our free community testing sites. If you do not have active symptoms, please call Winona Health or Olmsted Medical Center to inquire about asymptomatic testing. Our health department cannot make testing referrals at this time. 


I need to provide a letter to my employer to tell them I am unable to come to work due to an exposure to COVID-19.


Public health recommends against requiring employees to have a doctor's note or public health release letter to return to work, as this is an unnecessary burden during an emergency response for a communicable disease like COVID-19. Our department will not be providing individual letters at this time. Individuals may use this form to submit their own letter if they are a known a close contact, if necessary. 


My employer is requiring a letter for me to return to work after I have had COVID-19. 

If any employee tests positive, public health recommends against requiring employees to have a doctor's note or public health release letter to return to work, as this is an unnecessary burden during an emergency response for a communicable disease like COVID-19.  Individuals may submit their own letter here after completing their full isolation period, if necessary.


I'm a close contact of someone with COVID-19. I tested negative. Do I still need to quarantine? 


Yes. You need to complete the 14 day quarantine, even if you've tested negative. You may have been tested too early and may still develop symptoms within the 14 day period, and are able to spread COVID-19 to others. See more information about quarantining here.


I was tested at a community site and haven't received my results. Where can I get them?


Results from the community testing site may take 3-5 days, but some may take longer due to delays or testing capacity. The National Guard will call you if you have a negative test result, so please keep your voicemail open or answer any unknown numbers that may call after you've been tested. If after 5 days you have not received your results, please call the testing hotline at: 1-866-419-6988.


Where can I find information about current case numbers and data about those who have tested positive in La Crosse County? 


Please visit our Coulee COVID-19 Collaborative page here.
Use the slider at the top of the page to see case data
WI Department of Health Services updates COVID-19 data daily. See county level data


What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble breathing

Some people also report having:

  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Body or muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

How Do I protect myself from COVID-19? 

Clean your hands often.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. 
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 

Avoid close contact.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Put at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wear a mask when in public spaces.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.

When is someone who had COVID-19 no longer contagious? How long do I need to stay in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19?


A person can be released from quarantine when:


1. At least 10 days have passed since their first symptoms began, and

2. 24 hours after they are fever free without the use of fever reducing medication and other symptoms have improved.


If you have symptoms after testing positive for COVID-19: 




If you have no symptoms after being tested:

no symptoms


For more information related to COVID-19, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Website here