Exposed to COVID-19? What experts say you should do next

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — COVID-19 cases continue to steadily increase across the country after dipping lower over the summer.

On Wednesday, new cases surpassed 145,000, more than 20,000 higher than the seven-day average, according to New York Times data. The explosion of new cases comes as health officials nationwide continue to document cases of the highly-transmissible omicron variant in their states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidelines for what to do if you’ve had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. But it all depends on whether you’re fully vaccinated.

The CDC defines an exposure as someone who was less than 6 feet away from an infected person for a cumulative total of at least 15 minutes during a 24-hour period.

For the fully vaccinated:

  • Get tested. You can still become infected and spread the virus. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you should get tested 5 to 7 days after exposure.
  • If your results are positive, isolate for 10 days.
  • Monitor your symptoms.
  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces for 14 days or until you test negative.

For the unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated:

  • Get tested.
  • If symptoms develop, get tested again 5 to 7 days after your last exposure.
  • If your results are positive, isolate for 10 days.
  • Monitor your symptoms.
  • Wear a mask consistently at all times.
  • Quarantine for 14 days from the date of your last known exposure.

Experiencing trouble breathing is an emergency warning sign regardless of vaccination status. If you have issues breathing, seek medical care.

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COVID-19 risk as determined by nonprofit Covid Act Now.

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