What To Do Now If You’ve Been Exposed To COVID
- Strictly mask up for an additional five days in all settings where you can infect someone, including your own home if someone is living there who doesn’t have COVID-19.
- Be mindful of your interactions because they can have far-reaching, harmful consequences for others.
- Wear a mask. You’re advised to wear one for 10 days or until you receive a negative COVID test. When you are out and about and around other people, wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose (this is healthy habit regardless of known exposure).
- Wait five days to test. If you do not have symptoms, wait five days after being in close contact with COVID before you get tested. It may seem like weeks, especially when you’re anxious to know if you are positive, but testing too soon may give a false negative result, which doesn’t help things.
- Practice social distancing. Stay a healthy distance (six feet) away from others and keep interactions short (less than 15 minutes, which may not be a bad thing in some situations!).
- Tylenol or Motrin to soothe aches and lower a fever.
- Cough syrup to calm a bothersome cough so you can get some rest.
- Purchase a pulse oximeter at your local pharmacy to keep tabs on your oxygen level. If it falls below 95%, contact your health provider right away.
- Discuss with your doctor beforehand if you’re a candidate for monoclonal antibodies. After exposure, there’s a seven to 10-day window to receive the therapy. This may be a tough call since the treatment may not be as effective against Omicron as it is with other variants.
- Save sick days to navigate recovery, especially if you’re the primary caretaker for other people in your family.
- For parents, identify someone to help with the kids. Parenting can be a challenge when you are out of commission due to COVID.
- Find a secluded space in your home where you (or a family member) can take refuge in the event of a coronavirus infection.
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