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What to do if you are sick or exposed

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The best way to contain disease, is to know your COVID status.

Test Recommendations

The best way to contain disease is to know your COVID status. Get tested if:
– You have symptoms of COVID-19
– You have been exposed to COVID-19
– A provider has suggested you be tested
– You need to know your COVID-19 status

Definitions

Isolation describes when someone has been exposed and has symptoms of COVID-19, or has tested positive for COVID-19, stays home and away from others (including household members) to avoid spreading their illness.

Quarantine describes when someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 stays home for the recommended amount of time in case they have been infected or is contagious. Quarantine becomes isolation if the person develops symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19. The timeline away from other would then start over according to isolation guidelines.

Close Contact is a person who has been within 6 feet of an individual within 2 days of them testing positive for COVID-19, or 2 days from symptom onset, for 15 minutes or more in any 24 hour period. If your phone has the WA Notify application installed and in use, you may get notified anonymously that you have been a close contact with someone based on how your phone has been distanced from a positive person’s phone

Isolation and Quarantine calculator – English

Isolation and Quarantine calculator – Spanish

Isolation and Quarantine calculator DOH– 39 languages (select language from the button at top right)

COVID19 Quarantine or Isolate ENGLISH (color)  BFHD 3/4/2022

COVID19 Quarantine or Isolate SPANISH (color) BFHD 3/4/2022

What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 (PDF) (wa.gov)

What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 (PDF) (wa.gov)

Symptom Decision Tree for Non-Health Care Settings and the Public (PDF) (wa.gov)

Click each question to learn more

I had close contact with someone who tested positive COVID-19 but I am not sick. What should I do?

On Monday, 12/27, CDC announced in a press release that they are updating their guidance on isolation and quarantine times for the general public. DOH similarly followed to adopt CDC’s guidance for the general public on 12/28.

In subsequent meetings, the CDC has indicated the guidance released earlier this week was intended for the general public, and they will be releasing additional I&Q guidance for some congregant settings soon. While we await official, updated guidance from CDC, WA DOH is assessing certain setting-specific isolation and quarantine recommendations for non-healthcare congregate settings. In light of this, WA DOH recommends that people staying, working/learning in the following settings continue to follow existing DOH and CDC guidance (not the general public guidance which was updated earlier this week) until updated sector/setting specific recommendations are available.

Commercial maritime settings such as commercial seafood and cargo ships

  • Crowded work sites where physical distancing is not possible due to the nature of the work, such as in warehouses, factories, and food packaging and meat processing facilities
  • Correctional facilities
  • Homeless shelters and transitional housing
  • Temporary worker housing
  • Schools and childcare – School guidance  Childcare guidance.
  • Institutions of higher education

Further, to ensure occupational health and safety, employers should refer to and follow all applicable worksite requirements outlined by the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I).

Follow the guidance outlined below:

 

If you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days and recovered before your close contact with a person with COVID-19

If you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days and recovered before coming into close contact with a person with COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine, but you should get tested for COVID-19 with an antigen test 5-7 days after your last contact with the person who has COVID-19.

You should monitor for symptoms for 14 days after your last contact and wear a mask in public indoor spaces until you receive a negative SARS-CoV-2 antigen test result or for 14 days after last contact if you are not tested. If symptoms develop, consult with a healthcare provider.

Close contacts who recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days and are residents in high-risk settings (for example, correctional settings) are recommended to quarantine and follow any DOH setting-specific guidance or LHJ recommendation.

I had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and now I’m sick. What should I do?

If you were exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms (even mild ones), you should stay home and away from others and get tested for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), regardless of vaccination status. Contact your health care provider for a test. Tell them you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are now sick.

What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 (PDF) (wa.gov)

Symptom Decision Tree for Non-Health Care Settings and the Public (PDF) (wa.gov)

If your symptoms get worse or you develop new symptoms, consult with a healthcare provider. If somebody does not have a health care provider: Many locations have free or low-cost testing, regardless of immigration status. See the Department of Health’s Testing FAQ or call the WA State COVID-19 Information Hotline.

 If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, tell the dispatch staff that you have COVID-19 symptoms. If possible, put on a face covering before emergency services arrive.

What to do if you test Positive for COVID-19 (Isolation Details)

On Monday, 12/27, CDC announced in a press release that they are updating their guidance on isolation and quarantine times for the general public. DOH similarly followed to adopt CDC’s guidance for the general public on 12/28.

In subsequent meetings, the CDC has indicated the guidance released earlier this week was intended for the general public, and they will be releasing additional I&Q guidance for some congregant settings soon. While we await official, updated guidance from CDC, WA DOH is assessing certain setting-specific isolation and quarantine recommendations for non-healthcare congregate settings. In light of this, WA DOH recommends that people staying, working/learning in the following settings continue to follow existing DOH and CDC guidance (not the general public guidance which was updated earlier this week) until updated sector/setting specific recommendations are available.

Commercial maritime settings such as commercial seafood and cargo ships

  • Crowded work sites where physical distancing is not possible due to the nature of the work, such as in warehouses, factories, and food packaging and meat processing facilities
  • Correctional facilities
  • Homeless shelters and transitional housing
  • Temporary worker housing
  • Schools and childcare – School guidance  – Childcare guidance
  • Institutions of higher education

Further, to ensure occupational health and safety, employers should refer to and follow all applicable worksite requirements outlined by the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I).

 

What treatment options are available?

Oral Antiviral treatments

5.22 blog post on treatment options in Benton and Franklin Counties

Antiviral medications are used to treat viral infections that cause disease.  They not only prevent viruses from growing and spreading throughout the body, but they also lower the viral load, boost immunity, and can reduce symptoms of illness.

For COVID-19, there are currently two oral antivirals available for emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Paxlovid and Malnupiravir, and one intravenous antiviral, Remdesivir.  

The oral antivirals for COVID-19 must be started within five days of symptom onset to be effective and are only used for people with confirmed infections.  The primary use case is for those who have mild to moderate illness with a goal of preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death.

In some states, demand outweighs supply and it may be hard for providers and patients to get antivirals.  Staying up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters continues to be the best form of protection against severe illness.

  • Paxlovid (from Pfizer) works by disrupting the virus’s ability to mutate. It specifically targets an enzyme that helps certain viral proteins form correctly.
  • Molnupiravir (from Merck) works by introducing mutations directly into the virus’s genetic makeup. As the virus copies itself, it gets so mutated that it can no longer function. There are some safety concerns because it alters the virus’s genetic information. Some experts worry about adverse effects, especially in pregnant people and in children.

Do not go to the emergency room seeking these medications if you don’t require emergency care. If you’re experiencing symptoms, check with your regular doctor if you have one, or visit an urgent care clinic.

In clinical trials, Paxlovid reduced hospitalization and death in people with COVID-19 by 88% when received within five days of symptom onset. Molnupiravir was found to reduce risk of hospitalization and death by about 30%

Both products are authorized for use in vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Neither is authorized for people with severe COVID-19 who require hospitalization. Molnupiravir is not recommended for use by pregnant people or children.

People should talk with their healthcare provider about whether these medicines may be right for them.

Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies work by mimicking one of your body’s immune responses. When your immune system detects a foreign invader like a virus, it unleashes antibodies. Those antibodies latch onto the virus, telling your immune system which cells to destroy.

Monoclonal antibodies are created in a lab and are administered via injection directly into the bloodstream, or into an arm or other area on the body like a shot.

Check here for the currently authorized monoclonal antibody treatments available in the U.S., they each work slightly differently.

See this chart for eligibility guidelines.

Care Connect Washington - Help with Quarantine or Isolation

Support is available for those experiencing difficulty safely quarantining or isolating from COVID-19. Care Connect Washington serves those who agree to isolate or quarantine, but need help with essentials like groceries, medical and cleaning supply delivery, and other household support like help with rent or bills.

Call and leave a message on our COVID line – 509-460-4358 – English or 509-460-4359 – Spanish

State number  – 1 (833) 453-0336

  1. Get Tested
  2. Stay Home
  3. Get a Call
  4. Get Help

What is Contact Tracing?

Contact tracing is a way to identify people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Contact tracing helps track and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We tell close contacts they might have been exposed to a person with COVID-19. We give them education, information, and support to understand their risk and prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others.

Here are resources explaining what to expect:

When can I go back to work?

On Monday, 12/27, CDC announced in a press release that they are updating their guidance on isolation and quarantine times for the general public. DOH similarly followed to adopt CDC’s guidance for the general public on 12/28.

In subsequent meetings, the CDC has indicated the guidance released earlier this week was intended for the general public, and they will be releasing additional I&Q guidance for some congregant settings soon. While we await official, updated guidance from CDC, WA DOH is assessing certain setting-specific isolation and quarantine recommendations for non-healthcare congregate settings. In light of this, WA DOH recommends that people staying, working/learning in the following settings continue to follow existing DOH and CDC guidance (not the general public guidance which was updated earlier this week) until updated sector/setting specific recommendations are available.

  • Commercial maritime settings such as commercial seafood and cargo ships
  • Crowded work sites where physical distancing is not possible due to the nature of the work, such as in warehouses, factories, and food packaging and meat processing facilities
  • Correctional facilities
  • Homeless shelters and transitional housing
  • Temporary worker housing
  • Schools and childcare
  • Institutions of higher education

Further, to ensure occupational health and safety, employers should refer to and follow all applicable worksite requirements outlined by the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I).

What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 (PDF) (wa.gov)

What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 (PDF) (wa.gov)

Symptom Decision Tree for Non-Health Care Settings and the Public (PDF) (wa.gov)

Children and COVID-19

What Should I Do if My Child Has Symptoms?

Call your doctor if your child has a fever, cough, trouble breathing, sore throat, belly pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, dizziness, or just doesn’t feel well. If your child has been near someone with coronavirus or been in an area where lots of people have coronavirus, tell the doctor. Talk about whether your child needs a test for coronavirus. The doctor can decide whether your child:

  • can be treated at home
  • should come in for a visit
  • can have a video or telehealth visit

In a telehealth visit, a health care provider can see your child on video while you stay at home. If you can, choose a telehealth provider who specializes in caring for kids. If the doctor thinks your child needs care right away, they will guide you on where to go. When possible, check for telehealth in your area before anyone in your family is sick.

Watch for signs that your child might need more medical help. Go to the ER if your child:

  • looks very sick to you
  • has breathing problems. Look for muscles pulling in between the ribs or the nostrils puffing out with each breath.
  • is confused or very sleepy
  • has chest pain
  • has cold, sweaty, pale or blotchy skin
  • is dizzy
  • has very bad belly pain

Call 911 if your child is struggling to breathe, is too out of breath to talk or walk, or turns blue or has fainted.

How Can I Keep My Family Safe if My Child Has Symptoms?

  • Keep your family home until you talk to your doctor. If the doctor thinks your child’s symptoms could be COVID-19, everyone in the household should stay home until testing is done or symptoms are gone. Check the CDC’s website for details.
  • Keep other people and pets in the house away from your child as much as possible.
  • Try to have one person only care for the sick child so others are not exposed.
  • If your child is over 2 years old and can wear a face mask or cloth face covering without finding it hard to breathe, have them wear one when the caregiver is in the room. Don’t leave your child alone while they’re wearing a mask or cloth face covering. The caregiver also should wear one when in the same room. To see how to put on and remove face masks and coverings, clean them, or make your own cloth face covering, check the CDC’s guide.
  • If possible, have your sick child use a different bathroom from others. If that isn’t possible, wipe down the bathroom often.
  • Everyone in your family should wash their hands well and often. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Use regular household cleaners or wipes to clean things that get touched a lot (doorknobs, light switches, toys, remote controls, phones, etc.). Do this every day.

I am at high risk, how do I take care of myself?

Reduce your risk of getting COVID-19

It is especially important for people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and those who live with them, to protect themselves from getting COVID-19.

The best way to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 is to:

  • Be vaccinated, and up to date with boosters
  • Limit your interactions with other people as much as possible.
  • Take precautions to prevent getting COVID-19 when you do interact with others.
  • Talk to your medical provider about Monoclonal Antibody Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis

If you start feeling sick and think you may have COVID-19, get in touch with your healthcare provider within 24 hours.

Stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Staying healthy during the pandemic is important. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether your vaccinations and other preventive services are up to date to help prevent you from becoming ill with other diseases.

  • It is particularly important for those at increased risk of severe illness, including older adults, to receive recommended vaccinations against influenza and pneumococcal disease.
  • Talk with your healthcare provider about maintaining preventive services like cancer screenings during the pandemic.
  • Remember the importance of staying physically active and practicing healthy habits to cope with stress.
  • If you have a medical emergency, do not delay seeking emergency care.

 If you have an underlying medical condition, you should continue to follow your treatment plan:

  • Continue your medicines and do not change your treatment plan without talking to your healthcare provider.
  • Have at least a 30-day supply of prescription and non-prescription medicines. Talk to a healthcare provider, insurer, and pharmacist about getting an extra supply (i.e., more than 30 days) of prescription medicines, if possible, to reduce your trips to the pharmacy.
  • Do not delay getting emergency care for your underlying medical condition because of COVID-19. Emergency departments have contingency infection prevention plans to protect you from getting COVID-19 if you need care.
  • Call your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your underlying medical conditions or if you get sick and think that you may have COVID-19. If you need emergency help, call 911 right away.
  • If you don’t have a healthcare provider, contact your nearest community health center or health department.