Public Health Question (October 2021)
What do I do if I am exposed to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 and am not vaccinated?
The safest thing for unvaccinated individuals to do after exposure to another person positive for COVID-19 is to quarantine for 14 days because 2-14 days is the incubation period for illness to develop ill with COVID-19. Unvaccinated and exposed individuals should get tested 3-5 days after exposure and still complete their 14-day quarantine even if they receive a negative result. If the exposed and unvaccinated individual receives a positive result, the individual must isolate for 10 days from their illness onset (start of symptoms) OR isolate for 10 days from the date they received COVID-19 testing (if asymptomatic).
This is covered in the COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Local Health Departments for K-12 Schools; Updated August 31st, 2021:
“Exposed close contacts who are not fully vaccinated should be referred for COVID-19 testing. Individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 90 days should not be referred for COVID-19 testing.
· If negative, they should quarantine at home according to the COVID-19 Exclusion Table after exposure.
· If positive, they should isolate (for 10 days from their illness onset or 10 days from the date they received testing).
Exposed close contacts who have no COVID-like symptoms and are either fully vaccinated or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 90 days:
· Do not need to quarantine, be excluded from school, but should be tested 3-5 days following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
· Should still monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure.
· Should wear a mask in other indoor public settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.”
|Unvaccinated & Exposed to COVID-19 (+) Case||Fully Vaccinated & Exposed to COVID-19 (+) Case|
*NOTE: Individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 90 days should not be referred for testing because there is a possibility that the previously (+) individual could still yield (+) test results. These individuals are not thought to be infectious for at least 90 days after their last (+) test.
To learn more about the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine:
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Overview and Safety
- FACT SHEET FOR RECIPIENTS AND CAREGIVERS
- HOJA INFORMATIVA PARA DESTINATARIOS Y CUIDADORES
To learn more about what “fully vaccinated” means:
To learn more specifically why the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for adolescents: