COVID-19 testing continues to be a key resource to help guide contact tracing, treatment options and isolation. Health officials are alerting the public that a negative test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing or that your sample was collected too early in your infection. A negative test result is not a green light to engage in risky behavior that increases your risk of becoming infected with the virus. You can still be exposed to and contract COVID-19 after the test and then get infected and spread the virus to others.
Another circulating misconception related to COVID-19 health and safety measures is a face covering can substitute for social distancing. The City of St. Louis Department of Health wants residents to know that face coverings do offer some protection to you and are also meant to protect those around you, in case you are unknowingly infected with COVID-19. However, a face covering is NOT a substitute for social distancing. Masks should still be worn in addition to staying at least 6 feet apart.
Join the Department of Health in practicing these health and safety measures to protect yourself, your family and community from the spread of COVID-19:
- Wear face covering in public settings and when around people outside of your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- Put distance between yourself and other people (at least 6 feet).
- Cleaning your hands often, either with soap and water for 20 seconds or a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Limit in-person events and gatherings to 10 or fewer attendees.
Visit the Department of Health’s website for guidance on holiday gatherings at:
Department of Health
Immunizations and Public Health