Skip to main content
Read about

I Was Near Someone Who Has COVID-19

First, don’t panic. Then figure out your best next steps.
A woman near a man who is coughing and covering his mouth.
Table of Contents
Tooltip Icon.
Written by Laura Hagopian, MD, FAWM, FACEP.
2020 - Present, Physician Researcher, Buoy Health
Medically reviewed by
Last updated July 28, 2022

Try our free symptom checker

Get a thorough self-assessment before your visit to the doctor.

Just because someone you recently saw now has COVID-19 doesn’t mean you will get it, too. Also, keep in mind that most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms and recover on their own.

If you were not in close contact with the person (especially if not within six feet or touched the same object or surface), you are not likely to catch it from them. Still, you should monitor yourself for 14 days to see if you develop any symptoms, including fever, cough, and trouble breathing. Practice social distancing, wash hands frequently, and avoid touching your face.

If someone you’ve had close contact with has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the CDC wants you to self-quarantine. The best decision is to stay home for 14 days and practice social distancing, so you can’t spread the virus to others. COVID-19 is a highly infectious virus—much more than the flu. That is why it’s so important to be extra cautious.

While most people have symptoms about 4 days after exposure, it can take up to 14 days. If you develop a fever, cough, or trouble breathing, try the Buoy’s AI assistant to help you figure out what to do next. And self-isolate right away. It’s one of the most important things you can do—for you, your loved ones, and the community at large.

Who is a close contact?

  • People who live in the same home
  • Intimate partners
  • Caregivers
  • People who were coughed/sneezed on by someone with COVID-19
  • People who were within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for an extended period of time

The scientific understanding of COVID-19 as well as guidelines for its prevention and treatment are constantly changing. There may be new information since this article was published. It’s important to check with sources like the CDC for the most up-to-date information.

Share your story
Once your story receives approval from our editors, it will exist on Buoy as a helpful resource for others who may experience something similar.
The stories shared below are not written by Buoy employees. Buoy does not endorse any of the information in these stories. Whenever you have questions or concerns about a medical condition, you should always contact your doctor or a healthcare provider.
Dr. Le obtained his MD from Harvard Medical School and his BA from Harvard College. Before Buoy, his research focused on glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer. Outside of work, Dr. Le enjoys cooking and struggling to run up-and-down the floor in an adult basketball league.

Was this article helpful?

1 person found this helpful
Tooltip Icon.
Read this next
Slide 1 of 13