I Was Near Someone Who Has COVID-19

First, don’t panic. Then figure out your best next steps.

By Laura Hagopian, MD, FAWM, FACEP, Physician Researcher at Buoy

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 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
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