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When is someone who had COVID-19 safe to return to work, school?

How long should someone avoid other people after catching coronavirus?

DETROIT – The National Institutes of Health and Dr. Anthony Fauci claim they have concluded that President Donald Trump is no longer infectious.

The debate over whether Trump was still infectious or not is an issue that a lot of people are facing as survivors return to work, school and other aspects of life.

Trump’s physician reported that the president developed symptoms Oct. 1 and was tested shortly after. Typically, 10 days of isolation would be protocol, but the reason for the extra scrutiny over the president is that -- at least based on the treatments he received -- he could be considered as having severe illness which could extend his isolation to 20 days. That’s why officials are going over extra steps to justify his earlier clearance.

If someone has a mild case of COVID-19, when it is safe for them to be around other people?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines that will apply to the majority of healthy people who test positive (with mild to moderate illness) is that they need to isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms, not the date of testing.

The isolation will be longer if you continue to have fevers or your symptoms are not improving.

What if it’s someone who requires hospitalization?

For people who are immune compromised or have severe illness, it’s been shown that they can continue to be infectious for as long as 20 days. If that’s your situation you should remain isolated for at least 20 days from the onset of symptoms and be free of a fever for at least 24 hours and have improving symptoms.

Why aren’t survivors required to test negative before returning to work or school? Wouldn’t that be safer?

At the start of the pandemic, we did use two negative tests 24 hours apart to indicate someone was safe to come out of isolation -- but over time, research showed that a significant number of people stayed positive past 10 days -- even though doctors couldn’t grow any infectious virus from them after 10 days. That’s why the CDC no longer requires negative tests for clearance

It’s important to note that when survivors are cleared to return to work or school, it’s still vital that they follow all of the required guidelines -- that includes wearing a mask, social distancing and frequent hand washing.

READ: Coronavirus outbreak: How to wash your hands correctly

Click here for guidelines from the CDC.


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