Culver City Observer -

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Guidance for Based on Test Results

 

September 10, 2020

1. What is a Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Many of them infect animals, but some coronaviruses from animals can evolve (change) into a new human coronavirus that can spread from person-to-person. This is what happened with the new coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease known as COVID-19. Diseases from coronaviruses in people typically cause mild to moderate illness, like the common cold.

2. How are Coronaviruses spread?

Like other respiratory illnesses, such as influenza, human coronaviruses most commonly spread to others from an infected person who has symptoms through:

• Droplets produced through coughing and sneezing.

• Close personal contact, such as caring for an infected person.

• Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.

3. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Reported illnesses have ranged from people with mild or no symptoms to people becoming severely ill, requiring admission to the hospital, and dying.

Symptoms include:

• Fever

• Cough

• Difficulty breathing

4. I did not have symptoms but was tested for COVID-19 anyways, is there anything I should be doing while I wait for my test results.

We do not recommend that asymptomatic individuals get tested for COVID-19 but if you do get tested even though you don't have symptoms, you should continue to follow recommended social distancing practices, such as staying home and staying at least 6 feet away from others when you are outside your home until your test results are back. You should also use a cloth face covering whenever you leave the home for any essential activities.

If you were a contact to a suspected or positive case of COVID-19 you should remain in quarantine at your home and away from others until your results are back and then follow the guidance below based on what those results show.

5. I did not have symptoms but was tested for COVID-19 anyways and my test is negative is there anything I should do?

You should continue to stay at home unless you are an essential worker or need to obtain essential services. When leaving your home, follow recommended physical distancing practices by staying at least 6 feet away from others and using a cloth face covering when you are in contact with others outside your home. It is important to note that a negative test result may just mean that you were not infected at the time the test was done but you could still become infected at a later point so it is important to continue to practice prevention measures such as physical distancing and washing your hands frequently.

It is important to note that if you were a contact to a suspected or positive case when you were tested you should remain in quarantine for the full 14 days even if your test comes back negative. This is because the incubation period for the virus can be up to 14 days and unless you were tested on the 14th day from your exposure, a negative test earlier in the quarantine period does not mean you are not infected.

6. I did not have symptoms but was tested for COVID-19 anyways and my test is positive is there anything I should do?

Even though you don't have symptoms if your test comes back positive you should stay home and away from the public for at least 7 days from when you were tested. As we learn more about the novel coronavirus, we are finding that people can be infectious even before they start to show symptoms. It could be that your test was done before your symptoms began or that you won't show symptoms at all.

If you were a contact to a suspected or positive case when you were tested you can be released as soon as you have completed 7 days from the date of your test even if this is before your quarantine period is over, as long as you remain symptom-free.

7. I did not have symptoms when I tested positive for COVID-19 but I developed symptoms during my isolation period. Do I have to stay in isolation for longer?

The clock resets if you develop symptoms during your isolation period. If you develop symptoms you have to stay isolated at home for at least 3 days (72 hours) after recovery, which means your fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications and there is improvement in your respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), AND at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

If you were a contact to a suspected case and were in quarantine when your symptoms developed you can be released as soon as you recover and at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared even if this is before the end of the 14 day quarantine period.

8. I have symptoms and just got tested for COVID-19 is there anything I should do while waiting for my test results?

You should stay home and self-isolate until the test results are back. See the guidance for home care on the public health website that tells you how to take care of yourself while you are at home waiting for your test results. See the sections below for what to do once your results are back.

Be sure to tell all your close contacts that they need to be in quarantine for 14 days after their last contact with you. Close contacts include all household members, any intimate contact, and all individuals who were within 6 feet of you for more than 10 minutes, starting 48 hours before your symptoms began until your isolation period ends. In addition, anyone who had contact with your body fluids and/or secretions (such as were coughed on/sneezed on, shared utensils or saliva or provided care to you without wearing protective equipment) needs to be in quarantine. Refer to the health officer order for home quarantine.

9. I have symptoms and got tested for COVID-19 but my results are negative is there anything I should be doing?

If you are symptomatic but have negative test results for COVID-19, we still recommend that you stay home for at least 3 days (72 hours) after recovery, which means your fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications and there is improvement in your respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), AND at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

It is important to note that if you were a contact to a suspected or positive case when you got tested you must remain in quarantine for the full 14 days even if your test results were negative.

10. I have symptoms and my test for COVID-19 is now positive what should I be doing?

You should continue to remain in self-isolation until at least 3 days (72 hours) after recovery, which means your fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications and there is improvement in your respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), AND at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared. Follow instructions for home isolation found on the public health website and refer to the health officer orders for home isolation.

Be sure to tell all your close contacts that they need to be in quarantine for 14 days after their last contact with you. Close contacts include all household members, any intimate contact, and all individuals who were within 6 feet of you for more than 10 minutes, starting 48 hours before your symptoms began until your isolation period ends. In addition, anyone who had contact with your body fluids and/or secretions (such as were coughed on/sneezed on, shared utensils or saliva or provided care to you without wearing protective equipment) needs to be in quarantine. Refer to the health officer order for home quarantine.

11. Do I still have to stay 6 feet away from others and wear a cloth face covering even after I come out of quarantine or isolation?

Since we are still learning more about the novel coronavirus and how long people can remain infectious, all individuals are required to stay 6 feet apart from others and wear a cloth face covering in public regardless of what their test results were or whether they have already been in isolation or quarantine.

 

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