So I'm sure everybody is reading about the recent spike in Covid cases. From my experience, it truly just hit that second weekend in November when I was "the doc on-call" and it has been a domino effect ever since. Calls started to come in from patients requesting testing as well as from the lab reporting positives back to me.
Back in the summer, we may get requests for Covid tests because folks were traveling and needed a negative result so they can enter another state or fly to some exotic island getaway. Few scattered calls came during August and September when college students went back to campus and we saw a small spike in that age group then. However, about a week after Halloween and Election Day, requests for covid testing due to positive contact or symptoms started to pour in. What's more, a lot of these tests are coming back positive.
So the big question everyone asks is, "How long do I need to quarantine?" Especially with the holidays around the corner, everyone is trying to decide what to do about family gatherings and travel. I will attempt to summarize it here as I feel like I'm having this conversation multiple times a day and every single day for the last 3 weeks. However, there are two things to note:
1) guidelines change constantly and the CDC is actually in the process of officially decreasing the length of quarantine after positive exposure
2) everybody's health and situation is different, so definitely consult with your physician for individual guidance.
Symptoms of Covid can include all or only some of the following... but the first three symptoms seem to be consistent with most of my patients who end up with positive results. Fever, cough, and shortness of breath only in the more severe cases but I haven't been seeing those symptoms in the younger folks as much.
- sore throat
- body aches
- fever / chills
- loss of smell
- GI symptoms (diarrhea etc)
- yes symptoms -> test on day 3 or 4 of symptoms
- no symptoms -> chances are your test will be negative and hard to interpret if by chance it is positive then quarantine 10 days from day of positive covid swab