COVID-19: Navigating exposure and symptoms

Navigating exposure and symptoms

If you believe you have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of, COVID-19, please review and following these recommendations.

Exposure

Exposure is any close contact with someone who:

  • has tested positive and has symptoms or
  • has tested positive without symptoms

Interaction and close contact

Close contact with others includes:

  • being within 6 feet or less for 15 minutes or more
  • caring for someone at home with COVID-19
  • touching, hugging, kissing, sharing eating or drinking utensils, being sneezed or coughed on

Individuals with COVID-19 can potentially infect others at least 2 days prior to developing symptoms themselves. Therefore, if you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 within 2 days of them developing symptoms or 2 days prior to their positive test date if no symptoms, you will need to quarantine. 

You only need to quarantine if:

  • you have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Symptoms

Symptoms can range from mild to severe and start about 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and include:

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • fatigue
  • muscle or body aches
  • headache
  • new loss of taste or smell
  • sore throat
  • congestion or runny nose
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea

Testing

If you develop symptoms during quarantine, you need to be tested. If you do not have symptoms, test on Day 5.

COVID-19 test results

  • What should you do if you are diagnosed with COVID-19?
    If you test positive for COVID-19 you will be notified of your results by MyChart, a phone call or letter. You will need to notify your close contacts of the positive result using either 2 days before symptoms started or 2 days prior to your positive test date.
  • What should you do if you have symptoms and your COVID-19 test is negative?
    If your lab test is negative, but have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, isolate for 5 days at home (day 0 is your first day of symptoms).
  • If on day 6 you are without a fever for 24 hours without using fever reducing medication AND your symptoms are improving, then mask with a well-fitting mask for 5 additional days.
  • If you cannot use a well-fitting mask, then isolate for 10 days at home. Use a well-fitting mask whenever you are around others, even at home.

Quarantine and isolation

To help navigate your quarantine and isolation guidelines, follow the grid from the Centers for Disease Control below or call Welia Health at 320.679.1313.

Quarantine

Quarantine if you were exposed: Stay away from others when you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. When calculating exposure dates, Day 0 is considered the date of exposure. Day 1 is the first full day after your last contact with the person who has had COVID-19.

IF YOU
Were exposed to COVID-19 and are NOT up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations

  • No quarantine
  • You do not need to stay home unless you develop symptoms.
  • Get tested
  • Even if you don’t develop symptoms, get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
  • After quarantine
  • Watch for symptoms
  • Watch for symptoms until 10 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
  • If you develop symptoms
  • Isolate immediately and get tested. Continue to stay home until you know the results. Wear a well-fitted mask around others.
  • Take precautions until day 10
  • Wear a mask
    Wear a well-fitted mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask.
  • Avoid travel
  • Avoid being around people who are at high risk

IF YOU
Were exposed to COVID-19 and ARE up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations

  • No quarantine
    You do not need to stay home unless you develop symptoms.
  • Get tested
    Even if you don’t develop symptoms, get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
  • After quarantine
  • Watch for symptoms
    Watch for symptoms until 10 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
  • If you develop symptoms
    Isolate immediately and get tested. Continue to stay home until you know the results. Wear a well-fitted mask around others.
  • Take precautions until day 10
  • Wear a mask
    Wear a well-fitted mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask.
  • Avoid travel
  • Avoid being around people who are at high risk

IF YOU
Were exposed to COVID-19 and had confirmed COVID-19 within the past 90 days (you tested positive using a viral test)

  • No quarantine
    You do not need to stay home unless you develop symptoms.
  • Watch for symptoms
    Watch for symptoms until 10 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
  • If you develop symptoms
    Isolate immediately and get tested. Continue to stay home until you know the results. Wear a well-fitted mask around others.
  • Take precautions until day 10
  • Wear a mask
    Wear a well-fitted mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask.
  • Avoid travel
  • Avoid being around people who are at high risk

Isolation

Isolate if you are sick or test positive, even if you don’t have symptoms. Day 0 is your first day of symptoms or a positive viral test. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed or your test specimen was collected. 

IF YOU
Tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, regardless of vaccination status

  • Stay home for at least 5 days
    Stay home for 5 days and isolate from others in your home.
    Wear a well-fitted mask if you must be around others in your home.
  • Ending isolation if you had symptoms
    End isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving.
  • Ending isolation if you did NOT have symptoms
    End isolation after at least 5 full days after your positive test.
  • If you were severely ill with COVID-19
    You should isolate for at least 10 days. Consult your doctor before ending isolation.
  • Take precautions until day 10
  • Wear a mask
    Wear a well-fitted mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask.
  • Avoid travel
  • Avoid being around people who are at high risk

Resources for additional information

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