The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently changed its guidelines regarding isolation and quarantine.
CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Lena Wayne, an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management, offers some indications if you or someone in your family contracts COVID-19.
If a family member is diagnosed with COVID-19, what should they do next?
A person who was just diagnosed with COVID-19 should be considered potentially infectious. Everyone else in the family should also get tested immediately. It is possible that the person who tested positive was not the first to contract COVID-19, and other members may also test positive.
What if everyone tests positive? Do they need to be separated from each other?
If everyone in your household has COVID-19, they don’t need to be isolated. This is because it is highly unlikely that they have different types of coronavirus; Presumably they all got the same strain from each other, and they’re not going to reinfect each other so quickly. Of course, the whole family should be isolated from other people.
What if it’s one child who tests positive, and everyone else is testing negative? Who will take care of the child?
If a young child tests positive for COVID-19 and other family members are at high risk, making the child a pod with one parent is an option.
Two different “pods” should not interact with each other during the period of isolation and parents caring for a child with COVID-19 should wear a mask when accompanying the child to avoid the possibility of infecting themselves. Try to reduce it.
How long should one stay in isolation?
The new CDC guidelines reduce the isolation period from 10 days to five days, with an additional five days of mandatorily wearing a mask. This means that you must remain in complete isolation for the first five days. After that, you can go out – to work, to the grocery and so forth – but you should wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask when out in public. Do not go to a setting where you will be without a mask, such as a restaurant.
When it comes to people in the same family, this guidance means that you really shouldn’t eat together or have other casual, masked encounters with uninfected members of your family in a 10-day period. If the family is in two pods, the two should not be mixed inside their home for 10 days.
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