COVID-19 safety measures are fluctuating and it can get confusing. Here’s what the CDC is recommending you do if you’re vaccinated and exposed to the virus.
While the slow rise of COVID-19 cases can make it feel like we’re going back in time, there’s one big difference. Vaccines are readily available to any adult who wants to get their shot. Still, getting the call or message that you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 is terrifying, no matter your vaccination status.
What should you do if you’re vaccinated and have been exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus? It’s very unlikely for people who have been vaccinated to spread the virus or to get the disease symptomatically. Still, there is a margin of error, and breakthrough COVID-19 is a possibility.
There are a few steps you can take for some peace of mind:
Monitor your symptoms
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccinated people who’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days. These include fever, cough, breathing difficulties, loss of smell and taste, and fatigue. These symptoms are often confused with those of a common cold and it’s important to remain vigilant.
Get a COVID-19 test
If experiencing these symptoms, people should stay isolated and get a test for the virus. There should be an immediate test administered and another one 5 days later to make sure the results were correct. If you test positive for COVID-19, you should remain isolated for at least 10 days since your last COVID-19 test.
Mask up when necessary
Lastly, mask mandates are fluctuating now that COVID-19 cases are on the rise. It’s always best to err on the side of caution, even if you’re vaccinated, masking up when located in indoor settings and crowded spaces. Even if the vaccine is highly effective against the virus, it’s still not a foolproof solution. By wearing a mask you’ll be protecting yourself and other people in your community, slowing down the person-to-person spread of the virus.