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Haley’s Health Inbox: I had a negative COVID-19 test. Is there a chance I took the test too early and it just didn’t give the right results?

Haley Hernandez
Haley Hernandez

KPRC Channel 2′s health reporter Haley Hernandez has been answering some of your emailed questions regarding the impact of COVID-19 here in the Houston area.

We are answering a few of the top questions each day. You can scroll down and read questions and answers from previous days.

Last week I had body aches and feeling feverish. Feeling a lot better now. The problem now I can’t go back to work. Can I get tested without a fever?

You probably wouldn’t be approved for testing since you don’t have a fever. Doctors are screening patients before they are allowing tests. You could call your doctor and get work clearance that way, possibly. Another option is that you could buy your own at-home testing kit, but that may take longer to get results.

I had a negative COVID-19 test. Is there a chance I took the test too early and it just didn’t give the right results?

If you test negative for COVID-19, you probably were not infected at the time your specimen was collected. However, that does not mean you will not get sick. It is possible that you were very early in your infection and that you could test positive later, or you could be exposed later and then develop illness. In other words, a negative test result does not rule out getting sick later.

Should you have separate clothes and shoes to wear in public?

If you’re in healthcare or working closely with the public, it’s advised that you have clothes and shoes you wear at work and don’t bring them into your house. It’s not a guarantee this will make you sick, it’s just being extremely cautious during these uncertain times.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed coronavirus can live on cardboard for 24 hours and on stainless steel and plastic for up to three days. It can live on soft surfaces for even longer. It’s possible the virus can survive on synthetic materials for as long as five days.

Are people with disabilities considered “higher risk” for getting Coronavirus?

The CDC says most people with disabilities are not inherently at higher risk of becoming infected with or having severe illness from COVID-19. Some people with physical limitations or other disabilities might be at a higher risk of infection because of their underlying medical condition. You should talk with your healthcare provider if you have a question about your health or how your health condition is being managed.