What do I do if I’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid-19?

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  • Have you been exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid-19? Coronavirus has impacted the way we all live our lives, and you might be feeling confused about what to do if you’ve been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus.

    There are certain measures we can take to help stop the spread of Covid-19. If you have symptoms of coronavirus or have been in contact with someone who has, it’s important to follow official guidelines to keep yourself and others safe.

    Make sure you’re aware of what the main symptoms are, as well as coronavirus symptoms in children, as these can vary slightly depending on age. If you feel well but have been told by test and trace that you have been exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid, you should still follow the advice below. This is because you could still have coronavirus but be asymptomatic, and therefore at risk of spreading the virus to other.

    If you’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid-19 or you’re feeling worried you might have been, scroll down to find out the latest guidance on what to do…

    What do I do if I’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid-19?

    If you have been informed that you have been exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid-19, you must immediately self-isolate at home for 14 days. The 14 day time period starts from the date of your last contact with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus. You should also organise to get a coronavirus test as soon as possible.

    According to government guidelines, a ‘contact’ is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 any time from 2 days before the person was symptomatic up to 10 days from onset of symptoms.

    Examples of a contact can be household members (or someone who has spent time in your house), sexual partners, anyone you’ve had face-to-face contact within one metre or a passenger in a small vehicle or plane.

     

    What does self isolation mean?

    Self-isolation means you must stay at home. If you do not stay at home after you have been told to self-isolate, you could be fined.

    If you’ve been told to self isolate, you should not leave your home for at least 10 days. However, the NHS advises that you should stay home for two weeks (14 days) if someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive, someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive or you’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

    There are certain circumstances where you are allowed to leave your home, even if you are self isolating and this includes ‘to seek medical assistance, where this is required urgently or on the advice of a registered medical practitioner,’ according to the law.

    Woman staying at home after being exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid

    It also includes going out to buy food, medicine or to pick up essential provisions – but only if it is not possible to arrange for an online delivery or a friend or family member to drop supplies off for you at your house:

    “To obtain basic necessities, such as food and medical supplies for those in the same household (including any pets or animals in the household) where it is not possible to obtain these provisions in any other manner.”

    What things should be followed while self-isolating at home?

    When self isolating, it’s important that you do not leave your home for any reason. Don’t go to work and you children should not go to school. Don’t use public transport or taxis, or travel anywhere outside of your home.

    Visitors to your home are also prohibited while you are self-isolating, unless it’s a medical professional providing essential care. You should also do any exercise at home or in a garden, if you have one.