WHAT QUALIFIES AS AN EXPOSURE?
- If you’ve been within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period.
- That’s right! Even if you were only around someone infected with COVID-19, within 6 feet, for only minutes at a time, but all those minutes add up to 15 minutes, the Omicron variant has had ample opportunity to successfully infect you.
HOW SOON CAN I EXPECT TO SEE SYMPTOMS?
- Anywhere from 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
WHAT SYMPTOMS AM I LOOKING FOR?
- Flu symptoms (e.g. body aches, fatigue)
- Cold symptoms (e.g. scratchy throat, sore throat, coughing, runny nose,)
- Rarely gastrointestinal symptoms
WHEN SHOULD I TEST?
- If you have any symptoms you should get tested for COVID-19.
- Test 2-5 days from known exposure date
- If you tested negative, 2 days after exposure, wait 1-2 days and test again to ensure you’re actually negative.
- If you live in a household with someone who tested positive, and you develop symptoms it’s safe to assume that you have COVID-19. No need to test, especially in light of the shortages of tests.
NOW THAT I HAVE A KNOWN COVID-EXPOSURE & I TESTED WHAT SHOULD I DO?
- Quarantine for 5 days if unvaccinated, or if you are more than 6 months out from your 2nd vaccine dose.
- After your 5 days you should wear your mask, at all times, for an additional 5 days to keep from spreading the virus.
- If you still have symptoms after isolating for 5 days, stay home until you feel better and then start your 5 days of wearing a mask at all times.
WHERE SHOULD I TEST?
HOW DO I KNOW IF THE TESTING SITE IS A SCAMMER?
- All legitimate COVID-19 testing sites should be able to show you their medical credentials upon request.
- They should also be able to tell you what laboratory test is being used
- They should know where the test is being run and how the results will be reported back to you.
- A testing site could be fake if they ask for social security numbers or other non-medical information.
- Be suspicious if their materials do not have a logo.
- Be wary if they have set up on a sidewalk and are not affiliated with a medical provider.
CAN I STILL SPREAD COVID-19 IF I’VE TESTED POSITIVE BUT I HAVE NO SYMPTOMS?
HOW DO I CALCULATE MY ISOLATION PERIOD?
- The first day you experience symptoms, or test positive, is Day 0. That means that Day 1 is the first full day after you experienced symptoms.
- For those with no symptoms, Day 0 is the day you tested positive.
- For those that tested positive, have no symptoms, but then develop symptoms later, have to start their isolation period over. So, Day 0 is the day the symptoms showed up.
- For help calculating your quarantine click the following link:
WHO CAN GET COVID-19?
- Vaccinated & boosted
- Already tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered
- Any age, gender, ethnicity
DO I HAVE TO QUARANTINE AFTER I TRAVEL?
- Test 3-5 days after travel and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days.
- Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
- If you chose not to test, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
WHEN SHOULD I CALL THE OFFICE?
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain, or pressure in your chest
- Inability to wake, or stay awake
- Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone
- Any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you
WHAT IF I’M IN THE HIGH-RISK AGE GROUP (OVER 65)?
- If you’re under 65 and you have COVID-19, and you have manageable symptoms (see “When Should I Call The Office for reference to unmanageable symptoms) take care of yourself the same way you would with a cold. Get plenty of rest, hydrate, take over-the-counter medications for symptoms (e.g. Tylenol/ibuprofen for aches and headaches, decongestants for runny nose, etc.)
- IIf you’re over 65 and you have COVID-19 call 619-685-2500. A doctor will screen you to see if you are a candidate for the monoclonal antibody.
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THE NEW DRUG TO TREAT COVID-19?
- It’s called Paxlovid. It's meant to be used as soon as possible after COVID-19 diagnosis—within five days of symptom onset.
- This medication comes with some serious side effects including an enduring horrible bitter-metallic taste
- Be aware: the most common adverse events from Paxlovid are diarrhea, high blood pressure, muscle aches, and altered/impaired sense of taste.
- “For patients with severe kidney disease—or who are on dialysis—or those with severe liver disease, Paxlovid is not recommended; the levels of the drug can become too high and could cause increased side effects,” he says.
- It's cleared in the kidneys, so for patients with severe kidney disease—or who are on dialysis—or those with severe liver disease, Paxlovid is not recommended; the levels of the drug can become too high and could cause increased side effects.
WHERE CAN I GO FOR MORE INFORMATION?
Cat Dominguez, RN, MSN