What to do if you feel sick, tested positive, or are a close contact
Contact tracing is a key strategy to contain the spread of any communicable disease. Up until now, the Athens City-County Health Department (ACCHD) has conducted all components of contact tracing including the case interview as well as directly notifying close contacts of those individuals who are positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise at an alarming rate in Athens County. The entire ACCHD staff are working tirelessly, seven days a week to keep up. However, as we enter this new phase of the pandemic, we will be shifting our focus to completing case investigations in a timely manner.
In alignment with state guidance, to best use our available resources and most effectively minimize the community spread of COVID-19, the ACCHD will temporarily focus exclusively on conducting the first part of contact tracing: interviews with cases (or guardians as appropriate) of COVID-19. As the ACCHD completes those interviews, we will provide tools and guidance for them to identify and notify their close contacts. Additionally, the ACCHD will be providing guidance and tools to all sectors, including employers, schools and daycare centers to assist with identification of close contacts, which will include instruction to exclude close contacts in accordance with Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance and allow return to work without quarantine letters from the ACCHD.
I FEEL SICK…
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Fever (or feeling feverish)
- Muscle pain/ body aches
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Diarrhea (over a 24 hour period)
- Separate yourself from other people as much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a mask and try to maintain a 6-foot distance as much as possible.
- If you do have COVID-19, most people have a mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. It is important that you stay home for 10 days after symptoms appear AND until it has been 24 hours since you have had a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications).
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
- Get rest and stay hydrated.
- Be sure to stay in touch with your doctor.
- Call before you get medical care.
- If you have trouble breathing or have severe symptoms, call 911.
AVOID THE FOLLOWING
- Public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis
- Do not go to work or school
- Do not have people over to your house
- Do not go to any social gatherings
- Call your doctor to see if you should get tested
- Local testing resources
- Statewide testing resources
I TESTED POSITIVE…
If you tested positive for COVID-19, you should not wait to hear from the health department. Immediately follow the guidance as described below. Stay home except to get medical care.
- Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately
- Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible
- Use a separate bathroom, if possible
- Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets
- Do not share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils
- Wear a mask when around other people, if you can do so and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet
- Clean & sanitize commonly used, high touch services
IDENTIFY AND NOTIFY YOUR CLOSE CONTACTS
- A close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more
- Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive.
- By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping to protect everyone.
- You can contact them by using tellyourcontacts.org
I AM A CLOSE CONTACT…
- Residents of Athens County that have been identified as a contact to an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 must quarantine for 14 days from the date of last contact.
- Individuals in quarantine should stay home, separate from others, monitor their health, and follow all instructions from their local health department.