With more information coming out from testing about COVID-19, it can become confusing for your course of action if believe you have had exposure to COVID-19 or your test results come back positive. Furthermore, because symptoms may appear anywhere from 2-14 days after exposure, it is vital that you quarantine and isolate yourself as soon as possible to stop any further spread of the virus. If you receive a positive test result but do not have any noticeable symptoms, you can be with others after 10 days have passed since you had a positive viral test for COVID-19.
If you get a positive test back and are experiencing symptoms, you will need to quarantine for 10 days as well, with the major difference being that you also need to be fever-free for at least another 24 hours. Another factor depends on if you were vaccinated when you tested positive for the virus. Fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative. This is to ensure that any possible lingering symptoms that you may no longer notice are fully out of your system.
Getting COVID-19 is already challenging enough without having to worry about transmitting it to family or friends. People who need to be isolated should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. People who are severely ill with COVID-19 might need to stay home longer than 10 days and up to 20 days after symptoms first appeared. At home, anyone sick with the virus should separate from others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area, and use a separate bathroom (if available). This can be difficult to do with everyone else in the home going about their day normally, therefore it is quite helpful to know how long you need to isolate yourself. The best indicator of how long you will need to isolate will be how severe your illness has been. Normally, 10 days of isolation is recommended.
The best course of action for anyone who contracts COVID-19 is to quarantine at home as soon as possible after you receive a positive test result. The CDC recommends staying home for a minimum of 10 days since symptoms first appeared and 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and if other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving. Once the 10 days are over and it has been 24 hours since your last fever symptom, you are no longer advised to stay home. Keeping a close eye on your health for the next few days is still recommended in case any symptoms come back.
After following all of the proper precautions and procedures from contracting COVID-19, it may not be 100% out of your system. Those who have recovered from COVID-19 may still have prolonged detection. This does not, however, mean that you are at risk of transmitting the virus to others. Patients who were hospitalized and recovered indicate that SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be detected in upper respiratory tract specimens for up to 3 months (12 weeks) after symptom onset.
There is no mandate to decide when you can begin to be around others; however, if your healthcare provider recommends testing, they will let you know when you can resume being around others based on your test results. Some of the less severe symptoms such as loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months, but this does not necessarily mean that you need to continue to isolate yourself. It is important to note that these recommendations do not apply to anyone with severe COVID-19 or anyone that has a weakened immune system (immunocompromised). Those with weakened immune systems may require further testing to know when they will be able to be around others again. Consult your physician for further guidance on when you can end your isolation without putting others at risk.
BioCollections has been the gold standard of testing for over 20 years. Our clientele keeps coming back due to our basic premise: we will never over-promise nor underdeliver. Moreover, if we cannot do something, we will let you know.
If you would like more information on COVID-19 testing or on anything you read in this blog, take a minute to visit our website to learn more about how to properly quarantine to keep yourself and those around you safe, or contact us with any questions you may have.