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Been exposed to someone with COVID-19? Here’s what to do

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Editor’s note: Johnston County government is sharing information about how to respond to the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 The following offers advice for people who think they might have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of  COVID-19.

What is coronavirus disease 2019?

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new virus called SARS-CoV-2. The most common symptoms of the disease are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Most people with COVID-19 will have a mild case but some people will get sicker and might need to be hospitalized.

How do I know if I was exposed? 

You generally need to be in close contact with a sick person to get infected. Close contact includes:

• Living in the same household as a person with COVID-19.

• Caring for a person with COVID-19.

• Being within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for about 10 minutes.

• Being in direct contact with secretions from a person with COVID-19, e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.  

If you have not been in close contact with a person with COVID-19, you are at low risk for infection. You can continue to go to work and school.

What should I do if I was in close contact with someone with COVID-19 while they were ill but I am not sick?

You should monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath during the 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the person with COVID-19. You should not go to work or school and should avoid public places for 14 days. 

What should I do if I was in close contact with someone with COVID-19 and get sick? 

If you get sick with fever, cough or shortness of breath, you likely have COVID-19, even if your symptoms are mild. You should isolate yourself at home and stay away from other people.

If you are at increased risk for a serious infection — age 60 year or older, pregnant, immune compromised or a have medical condition — call your doctor’s office and tell the staff you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. They might want to monitor your health more closely or test you for COVID-19.  

If you do not have a high-risk condition but want medical advice, call your doctor’s office and tell the staff you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. Your doctor can help you decide if you need to be evaluated in person or tested.

There are currently no medications to treat COVID-19. 

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