The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently changed their guidelines for isolation and quarantine.
CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen, who is an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management, offers some pointers if you or a family member gets Covid-19.
If a family member is diagnosed with Covid-19, what should they do next?
The person who has just been diagnosed with Covid-19 must be presumed to be potentially infectious. All other family members should also get tested immediately. It is possible that the person who tested positive was not the first person to contract Covid-19, and other members may also test positive.
What if everyone was positive? Do they need to isolate themselves from each other?
If everyone in your household has Covid-19, they don’t need to isolate themselves from each other. This is because they are very unlikely to have different strains of coronavirus; they probably all got the same strain from each other, and they’re not going to get re-infected that quickly. The whole family, of course, should isolate themselves from others.
What if it’s a child who tests positive and all the others test negative? Who will take care of the child?
If a young child tests positive for Covid-19 and other family members are at high risk, having the child form a group with a parent is an option.
The two different ‘pods’ must not interact with each other during the isolation period and the parent caring for the child with Covid-19 must wear a mask when with the child to try to reduce the risk of becoming infected.
How long should a person be isolated?
The new CDC guidelines essentially shorten the isolation period from 10 days to five days, with an additional five days wearing a mask. This means that you must remain completely isolated for the first five days. After that, you can go out – to work, to the grocery store, etc. – but you must wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask when you go out in public. Do not go to places where you will be without a mask, such as restaurants.
With respect to people in the same family, this advice means that you really should not eat meals together or have other casual, mask-less encounters with uninfected family members during the 10-day period. . If the families are in two modules, the two must not mix for 10 days inside their house.
Read more tips here.