What Should You Do If Youre Fully Vaccinated And Have Been Exposed To The Coronavirus
If youre fully vaccinated, you dont have to quarantine after being in close contact with someone with COVID-19 unless you develop symptoms. However, you should still:
- Monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19.
- Get tested 5 to 7 days after exposure.
- Wear a mask while in indoor public spaces for 14 days or until your COVID-19 test comes back negative.
Its important that some people contact their doctor promptly if they believe that theyve been exposed to COVID-19, even if theyre fully vaccinated. These individuals include:
- older adults
- people with underlying health conditions that increase their risk of serious illness
- those with a weakened immune system
- pregnant people
There are treatments available, such as monoclonal antibodies, that can help prevent serious illness in higher risk individuals.
Now Choose Which One Of These Situations Applies To You To Find Out What Happens Next:
If youre fully vaccinated: Thank science that you probably just had a much milder case than you would have if you hadnt been vaccinated. Encourage others to get vaccinated.
If youre partially vaccinated: Wait a week or two until you go get that second dose of a two-dose vaccine. If you already had an appointment, you may need to delay it. Just make sure you get it.
If you havent started the vaccination process, nows the time. Schedule your appointment for a week or two after your contagious period ended.
If you werent planning to get vaccinated, please consider doing it after all. Wait a week or two and then start the process. Talk to your doctor or a trusted medical professional if you have questions. Be wary of negative claims on social media.
If the person who tested positive or had symptoms is under age 12: Vaccination isnt authorized for this age group yet, but once it is, its important to get vaccinated, even after having COVID.
Keep reading for the final chapter.
Most People With Covid
If youre exposed to COVID-19 your first impulse may be to get tested immediately. But getting tested too soon in the incubation period may lead to a false-positive result and, even worse, a false sense of security.
An infections incubation period is the length of time between when you first become infected and when you begin to experience symptoms. For COVID-19, that timeline stretches anywhere from the first day after your exposure through the 14 days that follow. And you can be contagious at any point even if you dont have any symptoms.
We know it can be confusing to keep track of the all the different guidelines and recommendations. Heres a timeline of COVID-19s incubation period with answers to some of your most pressing questions. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed its important to check in with your doctor who can monitor your symptoms and determine treatment and give guidance on quarantine and testing.
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How Long Should You Quarantine Or Isolate
First things first, those who believe they have been in contact with someone who has COVID and are unvaccinated should quarantine. Those who test positive, regardless of vaccination status, must isolate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Here’s the breakdown:
Those who have been within 6 feet of someone with COVID for a cumulative total of at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period should stay home for 14 days after their last contact with that person and watch for symptoms. If possible, those quarantining should also stay away from the people they live with, particularly those who are at an increased risk of developing more severe COVID illness.
If symptoms appear within the quarantine window, isolate immediately and contact a healthcare provider, the CDC’s guidance states.
Those who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine, according to the CDC, but they should get tested anywhere from five to seven days following their exposure regardless of symptoms.
Local health authorities can also make the final determination about how long a quarantine should last, however. And testing can play a role.
For example, in Chicago, those who travel to or from certain parts of the country and are unvaccinated must quarantine upon arrival to Chicago, but the length of time they should do so for depends on whether they get tested for COVID.
The city’s travel advisory recommends those who travel from the designated warning states must:
When Should I Get Tested For Covid
Given the potential for a shorter incubation period, Vanderbilt’s Schaffner advised that anyone who has been in contact with an infected individual get tested about 72 hours following the exposure.
“If you’ve been exposed and now you’re asking yourself, ‘When should I get tested?’ I think you would best wait at least three days to see if you’ve turned positive,” he said.
For the millions of people without any known Covid exposure, but who are getting together with friends and family over the Christmas holiday, Schaffner said, it would be prudent to get a rapid test the day of the gathering.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, agreed.
“By all means, go the extra step, go the extra mile to get tested” to alleviate any concerns about gatherings, he said on NBC’s “TODAY” show Tuesday.
“But if you don’t have the availability of the test and you are fully vaccinated and boosted, you should feel comfortable having a holiday meal or gathering with family members who are also vaccinated and boosted,” Fauci said.
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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.
What If I Develop Symptoms That Could Be Covid
Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately by calling 911. Emergency warning signs include*:
- Difficulty breathing or gasping for breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
- *This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your primary care team or our urgent primary care visit team for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
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How Soon After I’m Infected With The New Coronavirus Will I Start To Be Contagious
The time from exposure to symptom onset is thought to be two to 14 days, though symptoms typically appear within four or five days after exposure.
We know that a person with COVID-19 may be contagious 48 hours before starting to experience symptoms. People may actually be most likely to spread the virus to others during the 48 hours before they start to experience symptoms.
For people who are not fully vaccinated, wearing masks, particularly indoors, can help reduce the risk that someone who is infected but not yet experiencing symptoms may unknowingly infect others. As of July 2021, the CDC is also advising people who are fully vaccinated to wear masks in public indoor places in areas of the country with substantial or high transmission of the virus.
If I’m Exposed To The Coronavirus How Long Before I Develop Symptoms
Symptoms can begin between two and 14 days after you have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. A study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows that the median time for symptoms to show up is about five days. That is why the CDC uses the 14-day quarantine period for people following exposure to the coronavirus.
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How Do People Living Together Manage Quarantine When They Cannot Be Separated From The Person With Covid
It is very important for people with COVID-19 to remain apart from other people if possible, even if they are living together. If separation of the person with COVID-19 from others in the home is not possible, the other members of the household will have ongoing exposure, meaning they will be repeatedly exposed until that person is no longer able to spread the virus to other people.
Public health recommendations for testing and quarantine of close contacts with ongoing exposure depend on vaccination status.
How Do I Know If Ive Caught Covid
The main coronavirus symptoms to watch out for are a sore throat, loss of taste or smell, new, continuous cough and high temperature.
But as the virus continues to mutate and spread through new variants like the Delta variant and Lambda variant, symptoms can also show some changes.
From what we know so far, Omicron variant symptoms differ slightly to those of more common Covid variants such as Delta with Omicron symptoms reportedly bearing more similarity to those of a bad cold.
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Can The Virus Change As It Spreads
Yes. Omicron is a variant of the coronavirus, similar to delta. They both occurred when genetic mutations occurred to the virus.
“I think the longer the virus can exist which is now, existing for about two years higher chance of it continuing to mutate. So I don’t think any of us expect that this one will count as the last mutation,” Bindra said.
Contributing: Mike Stucka and Ryan Miller
Health and patient safety coverage at USA TODAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare. The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.
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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What Is Brain Fog
Lets start by trying to understand brain fog. Brain fog is not a medical or scientific term it is used by individuals to describe how they feel when their thinking is sluggish, fuzzy, and not sharp.
We all experience this feeling from time to time. Perhaps you couldnt think clearly when you were sick with the flu or another illness. Maybe you were jet-lagged and your thinking was sluggish because it felt like it was 2 AM. Or perhaps you took an antihistamine or another medication that made your thinking fuzzy for a few hours. In each case you probably just waited to get back to normal, whether that meant recovering from your illness, adjusting to the new time zone, or waiting for the side effects of the medication to wear off.
But what if your thinking didnt return to normal?
If You Need Medical Advice
Health and care services remain open to help people with all health conditions, including COVID-19. Most people with COVID-19 will experience a mild illness which can be managed at home. Find out more about managing the symptoms of COVID-19 at home.
All routine medical and dental appointments should be cancelled while you are staying at home. If you are concerned or have been asked to attend in person during this time, discuss this with your medical contact first .
Seek prompt medical attention if your illness or the illness of someone in your household is worsening. If it is not an emergency, contact the NHS 111 online COVID-19 service or NHS 111 for other health conditions. If you have no internet access, call NHS 111.
If it is a medical emergency and you need to call an ambulance, dial 999. Inform the call handler or operator that you or someone in your household has COVID-19 or symptoms if that is the case.
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What Are The First Symptoms Of Coronavirus
Early symptoms reported by some people include fatigue, headache, sore throat or fever. Others experience a loss of smell or taste. COVID-19 can cause symptoms that are mild at first, but then become more intense over five to seven days, with worsening cough and shortness of breath. Some people develop pneumonia with COVID-19.
The type and severity of first symptoms can vary widely from person to person, and that is why it is very important to call your doctor if you have symptoms, even mild ones.
For How Long After I Am Infected Will I Continue To Be Contagious At What Point In My Illness Will I Be Most Contagious
People are thought to be most contagious early in the course of their illness, when they are beginning to experience symptoms, especially if they are coughing and sneezing. But people with no symptoms can also spread the coronavirus to other people. In fact, people who are infected may be more likely to spread the illness if they are asymptomatic, or in the days before they develop symptoms, because they are less likely to be isolating or adopting behaviors designed to prevent spread.
A full, 14-day quarantine remains the best way to avoid spreading the virus to others after you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19. However, according to CDC guidelines, you may discontinue quarantine after a minimum of 10 days if you do not have any symptoms, or after a minimum of seven days if you have a negative COVID test within 48 hours of when you plan to end quarantine.
If you are fully vaccinated and have been around someone with or suspected of having COVID-19 you do not need to quarantine. However, as of July 2021, the CDC recommends that you be tested thre to five days after exposure, and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until you receive a negative test result.
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Can You Safely Gather With Family For The Holidays
Though the easy answer is to stay home, it’s important to recognize how challenging the past year has been on families and the need to see loved ones around the holidays, said Akhil Bindra, a pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic.
“Being conscientious of that, there is a safe way to do it, but there’s always some risk,” Bindra said.
The best way to protect loved ones from severe disease is to get vaccinated and boosted, he said. Getting tested for the virus before you gather inside is a good idea, even if you don’t have symptoms, he said.
Wearing a mask indoors will add another layer of protection, he said, acknowledging it may not be realistic to expect of all families.
Tuesday, presidential health adviser Anthony Fauci said vaccinated Americans don’t need to cancel their plans. “If you dont have the availability of the test and you are fully vaccinated and boosted, you should feel comfortable having a holiday meal or gathering with family members who are also vaccinated and boosted,” he said on NBC’s “Today.”
How Contagious Is Delta
The R0 tells us how many other people, on average, one infected person will pass the virus on to.
Delta has an R0 of 5-8, meaning one infected person passes it onto five to eight others, on average.
This compares with an R0 of 1.5-3 for the original strain.
So Delta is twice to five times as contagious as the virus that circulated in 2020.
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Here’s When You Should Aim To Take A Lateral Flow Test
This will give you a result in 30 minutes which can then be confirmed with a PCR test.
But if you have started to show symptoms you will need to order a PCR test and self-isolate until you receive a negative result if fully vaccinated.
Current rules in Scotland state that if someone in your household has started to display Covid symptoms, everyone in this household must isolate until a negative result is received but the person isolating must not have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case.