COVID-19 Questions: I Was In Contact With Someone Who Tested Positive, Now What?

So you have come into contact with someone who tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Now what?

This chart shows how social distancing can dramatically reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
This chart shows how social distancing can dramatically reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Photo Credit: Statista

Health officials have outlined basic guidelines to help those who come into contact with someone who has a positive case of COVID-19 as the outbreak continues to spread throughout the region and country.

According to officials, one should quarantine themselves for a minimum of 14 days from the date of contact, which is required by law. Close contact has been defined by the Centers for Disease Control as being within six feet of someone who displays symptoms.

During a quarantine, one has been instructed to stay separate from all others in the community for two weeks to help stop the spread of the virus.

According to the BBC, if one infected person goes out and lives their normal life, after five days, two and a half people will be infected. 

As a result of that, after 30 days, 406 people would be infected. If that original infected person reduces exposure by up to 50 percent, after five days, one and a quarter people would be infected, and from that, after 30 days, 15 people would be infected.

Health officials said that if one comes into contact with someone who tested positive, you should:

  • You must stay at your residence all the time, during the period you are quarantined. You should avoid having company at your residence, and keep a log (list of names, phone numbers, and addresses) of anyone who goes into or out of your residence while you are under quarantine. Others in your residence are not restricted from their activities.
  • You will need to take your temperature with a thermometer twice a day: in the morning and later in the day, and record your temperature in a temperature log.
  • You can live with other family members in your home, but you should sleep in a separate bedroom and use a separate bathroom until the quarantine period is over.
  • During this time period, you should avoid close contact of social and dining activities. Food should be delivered to your individual quarters.
  • You may walk outside your house on your own property, but should not come within six feet of neighbors or other members of the public. You must refrain from walking in your neighborhood.
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever, cough, and / or shortness of breath. If you develop any of these symptoms, you should put on a face mask immediately to prevent other people in your household from becoming sick.
  • If you have a true emergency, call 911 and let the person that answers know that you are under quarantine for COVID-19.
  • If you have any questions or if you need assistance with daily living (e.g. food, laundry, etc.), you can call 311 and ask for assistance.
  • If you have concerns about your employment status, SCDHS can provide you with a letter asking your employer or school to excuse you from work or school.

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