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ELYRIA, Ohio (WJW)– With COVID-19 tests in short supply in Northeast Ohio, Lorain County Public Health is answering the question: “What to do if you can’t find a COVID-19 test?”

The health department encouraged people to stay home if they are sick or if they were exposed to someone with COVID.

“Staying home might not be an option for people without paid sick leave or who are essential workers,” said Health Commissioner Mark Adams, MPH, RS. “If you can’t stay home, be sure to wear a mask around others and wash hands often. Employers, use the New Year to consider improvements to sick leave and caregiving policies. Paid sick leave makes it easier for people – especially people in vulnerable situations – to protect themselves and the rest of our community.”

If you think you might need a COVID-19 test, ask yourself:

  • Do I feel sick?
  • Do I live with someone who just tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Was I within 6 feet of someone who just tested positive for COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more?

If you answered no to all of these questions, please do not get a COVID-19 test, Lorain County Public Health said. If you said yes to any of these questions, try to get tested, but if that’s not an option, do your best to stay home, wear a mask and wash your hands.

Exposure recommendations are slightly different for those who are recently vaccinated and received a booster shot according to the public health department. If exposed to the virus under those circumstances, wear a mask around others for 10 days and if possible, try to get a test on Day Five

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received some criticism for recently changing its COVID isolation and quarantine guidelines, shortening the time frame from 10 days to 5.