Around Someone with COVID-19

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If You Have Been Around Someone with COVID-19
If you have been around someone who has COVID-19, you may need to figure out if you have been in close contact with them.

Close contact means spending at least 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of someone (family, friend, co-worker, acquaintance or someone you don’t know) with or without a face covering.

You will also want to consider the time frame for when you had close contact with someone who has tested positive to determine when the person was transmitting the virus. For people who have symptoms, they are transmitting the virus 48 hours prior to their symptoms beginning and extends until they have met the criteria to be around other people. For people who do not have symptoms, they are considered to be transmitting the virus 48 hours prior to when they went to get tested for COVDID-19 and until they meet the criteria to be around other people.

If you have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19, you are at a higher risk of getting sick and spreading the disease to others.

How will you know if you have been in close contact?
You may get a call from a public health worker to let you know you’ve been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Union County Public Health will interview COVID-19 cases to identify close contacts. Because of the number of cases Union County has and if a case refuses to provide the names and contact information of their close contacts, public health workers may not be able to notify you of your exposure.

If you get a call, follow the public health workers instructions. Why they might be calling you

Because there are laws that protect people’s privacy, you might not know exactly who was sick.

Family, friends, or someone else
You may hear from a friend, family or your workplace that someone you know has COVID-19. Or you may find out that you visited a business where someone tested positive.

To figure out if you had close contact, recall your activities and the precautions you took. Think about:

Who you were around and for how long

What activities you engaged in (CDC)

What preventive measures (CDC) you practiced when you were in the building.

Just being in the same building as someone who tested positive for COVID-19 does not necessarily mean you had close contact.

If you're not sure or have questions, call your doctor's office or clinic. If you don't have a doctor call 2-1-1 information.

What should you do?
If you were around someone long enough, you might need to take steps to separate yourself from others.

If you didn’t have close contact, but were around someone with COVID-19, monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days starting from the last time you were around them. Get ready to isolate yourself from others if you start to feel sick.

If you did have close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should quarantine or isolate yourself to prevent spreading the virus to others for 14 days starting from the last time you were around them, and get tested. Talk to your doctor about getting a test, even if you don’t have symptoms. If you don’t have a doctor, call 2-1-1. It’s best if you wait 4-5 days after you were exposed before taking a test. The test may not work if you get tested too soon. You should stay home and away from others while you wait.

I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, but I don’t feel sick, quarantine
If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should stay home even if you don’t feel sick.

Stay home for 14 days after you were exposed, even if you test negative. You might become sick with COVID-19 later.

You cannot get test out of being under quarantine. You may test negative if you take the test too early, it can take 2-14 days for you to develop symptoms, and you could be someone who does not develop symptoms. Finishing the 14 days of quarantine is an important way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself from the rest of your household.

If you feel sick or test positive, isolate
If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 and have symptoms or if you test positive (even if you don’t feel sick), stay home and keep away from other people, even those in your own home.

Resources for Staying Home
Call 2-1-1 if you need support for isolation or quarantine. 2-1-1 will connect you to organizations that can help with resources you may need (groceries, financial support, help with rent, other essentials). There is a document at the bottom of this article that provides local resources that are available to help you.

If you cannot self-isolate, we will work with you to explore your options.

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