How long should I be quarantined if I’ve been infected or believe I’m infected?
Once you are 10 days after the onset of symptoms and have been fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medications, patients appear to stop shedding virus and are no longer contagious. If you have been directed to quarantine by the health department, you will receive clear instructions with a specific quarantine end date.
What We’ve Learned about Spread
Based on the most up to date research it appears people are the most contagious right before you develop symptoms. This finding emphasizes the importance of social distancing when possible, wearing masks or face coverings when around people, and continuing to maintain good hygiene and handwashing. Further guidelines from the CDC can be found HERE.
People who are asymptomatic, or showing no symptoms of the virus while infected, are still capable of spreading the virus; however, they are about 50% less likely to spread the virus.
What about Children?
Children are of course not immune to COVID-19; however, since they appear to shed virus at a lower rate than adults, they typically do not present a major risk in communicating infection. Furthermore, a study out of Great Britain shows that children, especially under the age of 10, are 1,000 times less likely to die than people over the age of 65.
Multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in children:
Fortunately, this is a rare side effect in children who are infected with COVID-19 but is certainly a serious concern. MIS-C is shown to be more prevalent in the Black and Hispanic children populations. There have only been around 570 cases currently recognized, but should any of the symptoms arise, you should seek care right away.
Thomas D Robbins, MD, FAAFP
Medical Director, JCMG