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What should I do if I was exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 disease?

My Doctor Finder
March 25, 2020

If you think that you may have been potentially exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19, follow these steps to monitor your health and prevent yourself from spreading the disease to others:

How would I know if I was exposed?

You would need to be in close contact with a person to get infected. This includes:

  • Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19
  • Caring for a sick person with COVID-19
  • Being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for about 10 minutes
  • Being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19 (ex: being coughed or sneezed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.)

If you haven’t been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you are at low risk for infection. You may go to work and school, but should monitor your health for 14 days since contact and stay away from others should you get sick.

 

What if I was in close contact to someone with COVID-19 while they were ill but I am not sick?

You should monitor your health for fever, cough or shortness of breath for 14 days starting from the last day you were in contact with the sick person. You should not go to work or school, and avoid public areas for 14 days.

 

What if I was in close contact to someone with COVID-19 and get sick?

If you get sick with fever, cough or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are very mild), you may likely have COVID-19. You should isolate yourself at home and stay away from other people. If you have any of the following conditions that may increase your risk of serious infection:

  • Age 60 years old or older
  • Pregnant
  • Have existing medical conditions

Contact your physician and tell them that you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. They may want to monitor your health more closely or test you for COVID-19.

If you don’t have a high-risk condition but still want to seek medical advice, contact your healthcare provider and tell them that you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. They will help you decide if you need to be evaluated in person or tested. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatcher that you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Put on a facemask if possible before emergency medical services arrive or immediately after they arrive.

 

Reference: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/COVIDexposed.pdf