What If I’ve Been Exposed But I’m Fully Vaccinated
Even fully vaccinated people who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should quarantine until they receive a negative test taken 3-5 days after exposure and have no symptoms.
Even if you receive a negative test during days 3-5 from exposure, please wear a mask at all times while indoors for a full 14 days. This is because fully vaccinated people can get develop COVID up to 14 days after exposure without having symptoms. If this happens, you are contagious and can spread the virus to other people.
These guidelines changed in June, 2021 because of the new COVID strain, Delta. Vaccinated people can spread the new Delta COVID variant to others even if they have no symptoms and do not feel ill. Please follow the guidance in the question above.
If People Need To Go Out
To reduce the risk of spreading the virus to vulnerable people, it is best to avoid them entirely and to quarantine per the guidelines above.
People who must go out should:
- Wear a face mask: People should try to
One of the challenges of caring for a person with COVID-19 is that by the time they have symptoms, they might have been contagious for a few days.
Nevertheless, a caregiver can reduce their exposure by taking the following precautions:
- Wear a face mask at all times while around the sick person, and ask the sick person to do the same.
- Try caring for the person through a door. Leave food outside the door, then walk away before they open the door.
- Help the person quarantine in an isolated part of the house.
- Use video chat to stay connected, rather than talking in person.
- Wipe down all surfaces the person touches using bleach or alcohol wipes.
- Wash the hands frequently.
It may also be helpful to prepare for the possibility of illness.
Try placing a large grocery order, structuring a home quarantine area, and stocking up on medical supplies.
The length of time it takes a person to recover from COVID-19 depends on many factors, including whether or not they develop symptoms, how severe any symptoms are, and whether or not they have any underlying medical conditions.
What Are The Possible Symptoms Of Covid
Please see the CDC’s Symptoms of Coronavirus page for the most up-to-date information.
Any one of the following symptoms may indicate COVID-19, if new and not explained by another health condition:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
Recently, patients testing positive with the Delta variant of COVID reported experiencing symptoms often mistaken for allergies: sore throat, cough, headache, congestion. Lately, fewer patients are reporting loss of taste and smell than those infected with the virus variants circulating in our community last year. Please get tested for COVID-19 if you experience allergy-like symptoms.
Some people with COVID-19 also experience neurological symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms. These may occur with or without respiratory symptoms. See Harvard Health’s If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus.
Many of these symptoms are also symptoms of other viruses and medical conditions, so it is important to protect those around you until you receive test results that indicate if you have COVID-19.
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Does That Mean I Should Get Re
If you’ve returned a negative result on a RAT but you still have symptoms, the advice is to isolate for another 24 hours before doing another RAT or have a PCR test.
That’s because RATs work by detecting a protein the virus produces, and giving yourself another day may give the virus more time to produce a detectable amount of that protein.
“In that interval, if you do have COVID, you will have increased the amount of virus you have and, therefore, increased the amount of protein and will then get a positive RAT,” Professor Richmond said.
“But if you’ve got a negative PCR with symptoms, you’re probably OK. You don’t need to necessarily repeat it the following day.”
Coronavirus And Your Lungs
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is part of the coronavirus family.
When the virus gets in your body, it comes into contact with the mucous membranes that line your nose, mouth, and eyes. The virus enters a healthy cell and uses the cell to make new virus parts. It multiplies, and the new viruses infect nearby cells.
Think of your respiratory tract as an upside-down tree. The trunk is your trachea, or windpipe. It splits into smaller and smaller branches in your lungs. At the end of each branch are tiny air sacs called alveoli. This is where oxygen goes into your blood and carbon dioxide comes out.
The new coronavirus can infect the upper or lower part of your respiratory tract. It travels down your airways. The lining can become irritated and inflamed. In some cases, the infection can reach all the way down into your alveoli.
COVID-19 is a new condition, and scientists are learning more every day about what it can do to your lungs. They believe that the effects on your body are similar to those of two other coronavirus diseases, severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome .
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What Will Have To I Do When I Get Covid
If you check certain, know what protective steps to take to prevent others from getting ill. If you take a look at unfavorable, you most likely were not infected on the time your pattern was accrued. The take a look at consequence handiest implies that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of checking out. Continue to take steps to offer protection to your self.
What Is The Difference Between A Pcr Test And An Antigen Test For Covid
PCR tests and antigen tests are both diagnostic tests, which means that they can be used to determine whether you currently have an active coronavirus infection. However, there are important differences between these two types of tests.
PCR tests detect the presence of the virus’s genetic material using a technique called reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, or RT-PCR. For this test, a sample may be collected through a nasal or throat swab, or a saliva sample may be used. The sample is typically sent to a laboratory where coronavirus RNA is extracted from the sample and converted into DNA. The DNA is then amplified, meaning that many of copies of the viral DNA are made, in order to produce a measurable result. The accuracy of any diagnostic test depends on many factors, including whether the sample was collected properly, when during the course of illness the testing was done, and whether the sample was maintained in appropriate conditions while it was shipped to the laboratory. Generally speaking, PCR tests are highly accurate. However, it can take days to over a week to get the results of a PCR test.
It may be helpful to think of a COVID antigen test as you would think of a rapid strep test or a rapid flu test. A positive result for any of these tests is likely to be accurate, and allows diagnosis and treatment to begin quickly, while a negative result often results in further testing to confirm or overturn the initial result.
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At Odds With Current Cdc Guidelines
The research follows revised Centers for Disease Control isolation recommendations from January, which said individuals with COVID-19 could end their isolation after five days if they were fever-free for 24 hours and experienced either mild-but-improving symptoms or had no symptoms at all.
The CDC did not recommend people take an additional COVID-19 test after day five, but said anyone who left isolation should wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask around people until they passed the 10-day mark. The public health agency did say anyone who choose to take a rapid antigen test should remain isolated for the full 10 days if the results were positive.
But groups of doctors cautioned that those recommendations were unsafe, arguing previous studies had shown some people were still contagious until day 10. Without a negative test, critics said, individuals following the new CDC guidelines could return to work while contagious, putting others at risk for contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The research team examined 309 rapid antigen tests performed on 260 UChicago Medicine healthcare workers between January 2 and January 12, 2022. Those employees all tested between days five and 10 following the start of their COVID-19 symptoms . The results showed 43% of rapid tests during the so-called early-return period were positive, even though individuals felt well enough to work.
Which Symptoms Should You Watch For
According to the CDC, the following are symptoms of a COVID infection:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
It remains unclear if certain symptoms are associated with BA.2.12.1 infections. However, when it comes to BA.2, some symptoms seem to largely mirror a small number of symptoms commonly reported in omicron infections, including cough, fatigue, congestion and runny nose.
For some people, coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple weeks. For others, it may cause no symptoms at all. The virus can lead to more severe illness, including pneumonia and death, for some.
When it comes to those who’ve been vaccinated and boosted, the cold-like symptoms experienced following an omicron infection are mostly the same regardless of the subvariant.
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What Should I Do If Im Still Testing Positive For Covid
If 7 days have passed since your first positive test and you dont have any symptoms, youre not considered infectious.
Sometimes people can still return a positive COVID-19 test although they have recovered. This is because people with COVID-19 have infected cells in their body that release the virus into the environment through breathing, sneezing or coughing, or through their faeces and urine. This is called viral shedding.
After recovering from COVID-19, some people can have non-infectious fragments of the virus left in their bodies for some time. This may lead to a weak positive COVID-19 test and prompt further testing to confirm the person is no longer infectious.
If you test positive within 4 weeks from initial infection and have left isolation, you may not need to isolate or be retested if you dont have symptoms or havent been exposed to someone with COVID-19. However, this can vary depending on the state or territory youre in. Make sure you check the isolation rules for your area.
If at least 4 weeks have passed after release from isolation you should be tested for COVID if you develop new symptoms or you have been re-exposed.
What Counts As Close Contact And Exposure To Covid
- Being within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 10 minutes or longer during the persons infectious period. This exposure can occur over multiple separate contacts or even days.
- Providing care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.
- Having direct physical contact with the person
- Sharing eating or drinking utensils.
- Being sneezed on or coughed on.
While wearing masks, being outdoors, and being fully vaccinated significantly reduce virus transmission, these do not eliminate the risk of infection altogether. These circumstances are still considered close contact to an infectious person, especially for prolonged periods of time.
Infectious period: A person is generally infectious 48 to 72 hours before they develop COVID-19 symptoms and for 10 days after their first symptoms appear. Some people who develop more serious or severe symptoms may be infectious for a longer period please contact your primary care provider for recommendations.
Exposure can mean being in close contact with:
- Someone who has possible symptoms of COVID-19, unless they test negative while they are sick.
- Someone who developed symptoms one to two days after you were in close contact. People with COVID-19 may be contagious 48 to 72 hours before they develop symptoms.
- Someone who has not become ill with symptoms but tested positive for COVID-19 within 7 days of your close contact.
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When Are You Most Infectious
For previous variants such as Delta, the World Health Organisation said symptoms could begin to develop anywhere between two days and two weeks after infection.
However, the incubation period for Omicron and its offshoots is believed to be much shorter between three and five days.
It is believed people are at their most infectious one to two days before the onset of symptoms, and during the two to three days afterwards.
This helps explain why Omicron has been able to spread so quickly, as people have passed the virus on before even realising they have it.
Harvard University says: People are thought to be most contagious early in the course of their illness.
With Omicron, most transmission appears to occur during the one to two days before onset of symptoms, and in the two to three days afterwards. People with no symptoms can also spread the coronavirus to others.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said in December: Recent analysis from the UK Health Security Agency suggests that the window between infection and infectiousness may be shorter for the Omicron variant than the Delta variant.
Data shows that the majority of people are no longer infectious seven days after beginning to experience symptoms or first testing positive, particularly when vaccinated, and the vast majority are no longer infectious after 10 days.
What Is The Incubation Period For The Omicron Variant
Omicron is now the most dominant strain of coronavirus in the U.S., and its incubation period may be shorter than those of previous variants. Research is just beginning. But some scientists who’ve studied Omicron and doctors who’ve treated patients with it suggest the right number might be around 3 days.
Some early research suggests Omicron may be more contagious than the Delta variant. But health experts are still looking into how sick it can make people and how well vaccines and treatments work against it.
They expect vaccines and booster shots to help protect people from serious illness, hospitalization, and death. If youre fully vaccinated and you get a breakthrough infection of Omicron, youre less likely to become seriously ill than an unvaccinated person.
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How Does The Virus Spread
SARS-CoV-2 is mainly spread via respiratory droplets including aerosols from an infected person who sneezes, coughs, speaks, sings or breathes in close proximity to other people. Droplets including aerosols can be inhaled or deposited in the nose and mouth or on the eyes.
More rarely, infection may be due to contact with surfaces contaminated with droplets.
The virus can survive on different surfaces for a few hours up to a number of days . However, the amount of viable virus declines over time and it is rarely present on surfaces in sufficient quantities to cause infection. Infection may occur when a person touches their nose, mouth or eyes with their hands either contaminated by fluids containing the virus or indirectly by having touched surfaces contaminated with the virus.
We know that the virus can be transmitted by people up to two days before symptoms start, and when people who are infected show symptoms.
How Long Should I Quarantine After Ive Been Exposed To The Coronavirus
The CDC says that if you might have come into contact with the virus and have no symptoms, you should self-monitor. This means watching for signs such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Stay out of crowded places, keep at least 6 feet away from other people, and wear a cloth face mask when you have to go out.
If you traveled recently or know that you came into contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should self-quarantine if you are:
- Fully vaccinated with possible COVID symptoms
- Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated
Stay home for 14 days. Its very rare for symptoms to show up after that much time. Check your temperature twice a day, and watch for other symptoms. Stay away from other people, especially those who are at high risk of serious illness because of their age or another medical condition.
If staying home for 14 days creates a hardship, the CDC advises you may be able to leave quarantine:
- After day 10 without testing
- After day 7 after receiving a negative test result
Still, after you leave quarantine, you should continue to monitor yourself for any symptoms.
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Why Are Some People Infectious For Longer
Typically with viruses, the higher the viral load , the higher the risk of transmission through known transmission pathways.
A study conducted in Hong Kong looking at viral load in 23 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 found higher viral loads in the first week of illness.
Another study from China looking at 76 hospitalised patients found that by 10 days after symptom onset, mild cases had cleared the virus. That is, no virus was detectable through testing.
However, severe cases have much higher viral loads and many continue to test positive beyond the 10 days after symptoms start.
So the more severe the illness and the higher the viral load, the longer you continue to shed the virus and are infectious.
What Is ‘viral Persistence’ And How Does That Affect The Course Of The Disease
Sometimes the coronavirus sticks around longer than expectedand scientists are still trying to figure out why that happens in some patients, how it varies by individual, and exactly how long the virus stays alive inside the body. This is known as viral persistence, and it affects how long someone is contagious and therefore how long they should stay in isolation.
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