As case numbers rise, the Snohomish Health District is reminding residents to stay home if sick. If COVID-like symptoms develop or they were exposed to a confirmed case, seek testing. Is that test negative? The full quarantine applies if a person was notified that they are a close contact to a case.
Contact tracers at the Snohomish Health District are starting to see a growing number of cases that attended sports events, work or gatherings while symptomatic. Some had fevers or a cough, while others thought they were just fighting allergies.
“Unfortunately, we’re hearing reports of parents or friends urging people not to get tested to avoid an isolation or quarantine period,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for the Snohomish Health District. “I cannot stress enough just how important testing, isolation of cases, and quarantining of contacts are to our fight against this virus. We can’t interrupt transmission or prevent others from getting sick without them.”
COVID symptoms can include one or more of the following:
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain or body aches
- Sore throat
- Runny nose or nasal congestion
- New loss of taste or smell
If symptoms develop, vaccinated or not, seek testing through primary health care providers or www.snohd.org/testing. People should remain home and away from others until results are back, or to seek medical care if needed.
If someone is notified that they are a close contact and need to quarantine, they should seek testing ideally three to five days after last exposure. However, the duration of someone’s quarantine period as set by public health, employers and/or schools must still be fulfilled regardless of test results.
“We are also getting requests to appeal their quarantine, or confusion because a clinic or provider told them they were cleared,” added Dr. Spitters. “The test is just an indication from that moment in time, but the research has shown infection can occur up to 14 days after exposure. That’s why it’s so important to quarantine for the full incubation period.”
The exception to quarantine requirements for contacts to COVID-19? Being fully vaccinated. Individuals who are at least two weeks past their final dose do not need to quarantine at home, provided they remain symptom-free.