Know the facts, stay up to date
Visit CDC.gov or ncdhhs.gov to stay current
Practice safe social distancing as appropriate. Heed government and community public health recommendations for protecting yourselves, your family, and your neighbors.
Remember: Even if your experience with the virus and its symptoms are mild it does not mean you are not contagious and others may not be as fortunate as yourself, having a more severe...and potentially life-threatening...response to the illness.
Wash your hands, keep your hands away from your face, cough/sneeze into the bend of your arm, wear a mask in setting where there are lots of people/hard to maintain appropriate social distance and if you are with symptoms of any infirmity, stay home.
We do recommend that if you are positive for COVID-19, limit your exposure others for at least 5 days to minimize spread of the illness, longer if fever (temperature > 100.5) persists. Exposure quarantine and isolation are no longer requirements. Home testing is readily available, but know that a person can test positive (antigen/rapid test) for several days or weeks after the initial onset of symptoms.
REPEAT COVID-19 TESTING IS NOT NECESSARY TO "CLEAR" A PERSON FROM THE ILLNESS
Symptoms of active COVID-19 can include, but not be limited to, fever over 100.4, cough, sore throat, headache and shortness of breath. As these symptoms are also found in other illnesses or health conditions presently active in our community, it can difficult to distinguish one infirmity from the others in the absence of clinical testing. However, risk of travelling to an area to receive a test may unnecessarily expose a non-COVID-19 positive individual to the illness or potentially spread the illness inadvertently.
Aside from the fatality rate and the frightening symptoms linked to the virus that most of us are tuned into, we need to realize that we need to take part in being good members of society and arm ourselves with knowledge, common sense, patience, compassion and faith.
Once exposed, the susceptible host can potentially harbor the virus in a fashion that permits viral load levels to start shedding in as little as 1-3 days. The unsuspecting host may not show symptoms for 5-21 days (sometimes, no symptoms whatsoever are displayed), but inadvertently spread the virus to others. This time of a false sense of "not being sick" is the dangerous time for others.
As of 11/22/2023, the timeline of exposure to having a POSITIVE test result OR symptomatic presentation is an average of 5-7 days. The viral shed risk is greatest 24-72 hours PRIOR to the initial symptom presentation and the first 72 hours after the first symptom develops. A person is considered contagious for 5-10 days from the first date of the presenting symptom, longer if a fever is still present.
AFH recommends that a person may safely return to work, school, etc, following a COVID-19 infection so long as he/she has normal body temperature readings for 72 hours (without use of fever-reducing medications) or other more severe symptoms associated with the illness that may otherwise impede one's ability to function within a reasonable degree of his/her baseline capacities. This is common advice for most illnesses, but may seem contradictory to current public health recommendations (2024), which indicate that patients who are actively COVID-19 positive may return to work or school and are not required to wear a mask
The virus will affect us all differently, should we get the disease. No one person is above this disease and we must all be diligent and do our part to prevent death, infirmity, and financial despair caused by any prolonged restrictions linked to the virus.
Stay healthy, stay well, stay smart, stay alert!