COVID-19 medical illustration

What to Do If You Have Been Exposed to Someone with COVID-19

What to do if exposed to COVID19

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms, follow the CDC’s guidance:

  1. Call 911 if you are able to or have someone call 911 for you if you have chest pain, shortness of breath, confusion or blue lips or fingertips.
  2. Stay home and isolate/quarantine. If you are sick, isolate. If you have been exposed, quarantine. Here’s what you should do for both isolation and quarantine:
    • Stay in your own room and away from others in your own home.
    • Use your own bathroom if possible.
    • Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose if you have to be in common spaces in your home.
    • Avoid sharing dishes, towels and bedding with others.
    • Leave your home only for medical care—not for a haircut, not to get groceries, not to go to the post office. Get someone else to help with those things during this time.
    • Note: If you are sick, the others in your household should quarantine since they have been exposed.
  3. Notify your healthcare provider of your symptoms or that you have tested positive for COVID-19 so you can be monitored in case your condition changes. If you do not have a healthcare provider, call the Boca Grande Health Clinic at 941-964-2276.
  4. Notify any close contacts you had starting two days prior to when you developed symptoms. If you tested positive but don’t have any symptoms, notify close contacts you had starting two days prior to your test. You should notify them that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 so they can take the appropriate steps and quarantine. Close contact is defined as within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more, especially if one of you was not wearing a mask that covers your mouth and nose, but even if both did have face coverings.
  5. Monitor your symptoms and record your temperature twice daily and keep a record. (A self-monitoring log to print can be found on the Clinic’s website at bghc.org.) Check in with your healthcare provider every two to three days to give an update. If at any time you develop chest pain, shortness of breath, confusion or blue lips or fingertips, call 911 or have someone call 911 for you.
  6. Rest and stay hydrated.
  7. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least a 60 percent alcohol base.
  8. Clean common surfaces in your home regularly with a disinfectant approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to kill the coronavirus.
  9. Stay updated. COVID-19 continues to evolve. Please keep yourself updated by following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health websites.

COVID-19 Symptoms to Watch

The CDC lists the following as symptoms to watch. Remember, symptoms can be varied and range from mild to severe and this list may not be all-inclusive as this virus continues to show us new things every day.

Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

When can my isolation/quarantine end?

If you tested positive for COVID-19 or had symptoms of COVID-19 even with a negative test result, you may end isolation when:

  • You have not had a fever for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen. AND
  • Your symptoms have improved. AND
  • It has been at least 10 days since you developed symptoms or at least 10 days since you tested positive with no symptoms.

If you were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or someone with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you may end your quarantine when:

  • 10 days have passed since your last contact with the person, or seven days have passed and you had a negative test result no earlier than on the fifth day of your quarantine. AND
  • You have remained symptom free.

The CDC still recommends a 14-day quarantine as the best way to prevent spread of COVID-19. A shorter quarantine leaves some residual risk of transmission. You should continue to quarantine from particularly vulnerable individuals for the full 14-day period.

The Boca Grande Health Clinic is available if you have questions or are in need of care. Stay healthy and safe and thank you for helping our community to do the same.