First of all, what is an exposure to COVID-19?
Well if you’ve been around a person with a confirmed case, you’ve had an exposure. But not all exposures are created equal!
Remember that officially the CDC defines a significant exposure as:
Being within six feet of a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 any time–from TWO DAYS before the symptoms began to the time that person can discontinue home isolation,
That contact was for 15 MINUTES OR MORE.
If you don’t meet those criteria, then you probably weren’t seriously exposed and you don’t have to quarantine.
But if you (or your child) DO meet those criteria, then you should
1) Self-quarantine for 14 days
2)Self-monitor–check temperature and watch for symptoms
3) Avoid contact with any high risk persons
But should you get tested immediately? Three answers:
2) No, and
Testing without symptoms, even after an exposure, can be very misleading and give a false sense of security. Your test could be negative and you could develop symptoms 7 days later. AND a negative test does NOT clear you from quarantine!
If you (or your child) DO develop symptoms after an exposure, then schedule a telehealth visit with your doctor. Or, if symptoms are severe, seek care at a qualified Emergency Department (Nationwide Children’s for children with symptoms).