As coronavirus cases start to tick upward in some parts of the United States, residents are seeking out reminders of what to do in the event that they are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
The BA.2 subvariant of omicron is driving upward trends in cases in numerous locations, including in the Midwest. According to the latest data from the CDC, the omicron variant is still the dominant strain of the virus in the U.S., with the BA.2 subvariant, otherwise known as “stealth omicron,” making up approximately 35% of cases in the last week.
In the Midwest, the BA.2 subvariant is estimated to be responsible for more than 30% of new COVID cases within the last week.
So what should you do if you are exposed to someone with COVID? It depends on whether or not you are up-to-date on your vaccinations. For most Americans, that means having had both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The CDC also recommends booster shots two months following the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, five months after the Pfizer vaccine, or six months after the Moderna vaccine series is completed.
Those with compromised immune systems could require additional booster shots at the discretion of their primary-care doctors.
Here is what the CDC recommends following a COVID exposure.
If You Are Exposed to COVID and Are Unvaccinated or Not Up-to-Date on Booster Shots
-Quarantine at home for at least five days. If you have to be around other individuals in your household, wear a mask.
-Even if you don’t develop symptoms, get tested at least five days after the close contact. Per CDC guidelines, the day you are exposed to COVID is considered Day 0, and the first full day after that exposure is Day 1.
If You Are Vaccinated and Have Received Your Booster Shot
-The CDC does not recommend quarantine unless you develop symptoms.
-Wearing a mask is recommended for 10 days after the exposure, even for those fully-vaccinated against COVID.
-If you develop symptoms, get tested. Otherwise, the CDC does not explicitly recommend testing following an exposure for vaccinated patients.
If You Have Had a Confirmed Case of COVID-19 Within the Last 90 Days and Are Exposed to a COVID-Positive Patient
-No quarantine is recommended.
-Continue to monitor for symptoms for 10 days. If you develop symptoms, get tested and begin isolation until results are returned.
-The CDC recommends that these individuals wear a mask for 10 days after exposure.