Questions surround the definition of COVID-19 exposure, like is close contact the same as exposure, what should you do if you’re exposed to COVID-19, and when should you get tested? Steven Schulz, MD, pediatrician at Rochester Regional Health, helps us answers these questions and more.
Exposure is defined as being within six feet of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes and the exposed person is lacking either face or eye protection. Close contact is when you are within six feet of someone for a total of 15 minutes or more within a 24 hour period who has tested positive for COVID-19. If exposure or close contact occurs, your local health department will provide recommendations regarding testing and quarantining.
If you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you must quarantine for two weeks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends checking your temperature twice a day for 14 days after the date of exposure while checking yourself for fever and other symptoms. It is key that you stay away from others throughout this time.
If you share your home with others, sleep in a separate room if possible, and use a separate bathroom. It’s also advised that you avoid sharing food, disinfect surfaces after every use, and quarantine yourself to a room or area all of your own. If you’re unable to keep a distance from other household members, you should wear a mask at all times.
After two weeks of no symptoms, you can go out in public again. As always, it’s important to wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and practice social distancing.
If there is a positive case, the local health department will take over and the health department will perform contact tracing to determine high and low-risk exposures. If needed, they will reach out to additional individuals as indicated.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate and stay home. Next, call your healthcare provider for guidance. Decisions about who does and does not need to be tested for COVID-19 are made by your provider and local and state health departments.
Rochester Regional Health Immediate Care locations accept walk-in evaluations and will test if deemed necessary by an on-site healthcare provider based on the testing criteria.
Rochester Regional Health pediatric practices are also testing for COVID-19 as well as most RRH family practices who see kids (for kids).
For those who are symptomatic and do not have a PCP, call 922-CARE. If you are not symptomatic and are looking for a PCP, call 922-LINK.
Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days after exposure. The virus may cause respiratory symptoms such as:
A COVID cluster is when two or more people who shared the same space at the same time developed COVID-19 symptoms and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. COVID clusters can occur in schools, workplaces, events, family get-togethers, and other instances of large gatherings.
Yes, but only slightly. When you’re outdoors, you’re not in a confined area with poor air circulation. It’s important to wear a mask both inside and outside if you cannot guarantee proper social distancing, which is at least six feet of distance from other people.
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