We have the tools we need: Vaccines & Booster, Masks, Testing
Avoid contact with infected people if they are in your immediate family-keep a 6 ft distance. (2 arm lengths)
Remember that asymptomatic people can spread the virus.
Crowded places such as restaurants, bars, and fitness centers can spread the virus rapidly.
Virus spreads by droplet: laughing, coughing, sneezing. Virus can land on nose, eyes. Droplets can linger in air from minutes to hours. These droplets can contaminate surfaces such as doorknobs or other frequently touched surfaces, although this is not a common means of transmission.
Data from surface survival studies indicate that a 99% reduction in infectious SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses can be expected under typical indoor environmental conditions within 3 days (72 hours) on common non-porous surfaces like stainless steel, plastic, and glass. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting- sick/prevention.html)
A published study found that at room temperature, COVID-19 was detectable on fabric for up to two days, compared to seven days for plastic and metal. However, when it was exposed to high heat, the virus became inactive within five minutes. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html)
Can animals get or Transmit COVID?
The risk of animals spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to people is low.
The virus can spread from people to animals during close contact.
More studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19.
People with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should avoid contact with animals, including pets, livestock, and wildlife.
The reason the virus can jump species is because of the ACE 2 Enzyme. Certain animals have this enzyme. Cats, dogs, bats, cows and white-tailed deer to name a few.
COVID-19 pandemic is caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is not only an enzyme but also a functional receptor on cell surfaces through which SARS-CoV-2 enters the host cells
Symptoms and Testing
People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms – from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
Early common symptoms* include:
- Muscle/joint pain
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of taste and smell
- Cough, flu symptoms
- GI symptoms
*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Get tested. Call your physician. Isolate.
Up to 90% of hospital admissions for COVID are people not vaccinated. Those who are vaccinated and hospitalized have significant underlying health problems.
How long do you isolate if you have become exposed? When could you develop symptoms? When should I test?
Fully vaccinated people should be tested 5–7 days after their last exposure.
People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered, as long as they do not develop new symptoms, do not need to get tested.
If you test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 take the following steps to protect others regardless of your COVID-19 vaccination status: Isolate at home and isolate away from others for at least 10 days.
If you develop symptoms, continue to isolate for at least 10 days after symptoms began as long as symptoms have improved, and no fever is present for at least 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/diagnostic-testing.html)
Contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you are more likely to get very sick because of being an older adult or having underlying medical conditions or if your symptoms get worse.
If you test negative but have symptoms:
- You may have received a false negative test result and still might have COVID-19. You should isolate away from others.
- Contact your healthcare provider about your symptoms, especially if they worsen, about follow-up testing, and how long to isolate.
A person with COVID-19 is considered infectious starting 2 days before they develop symptoms, or 2 days before the date of their positive test if they do not have symptoms.
The incubation period for COVID-19
Given that the incubation period can be up to 14 days, CDC recommends conducting screening testing at least weekly.
What we know about Omicron
The Omicron variant likely will spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, and how easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown. CDC expects that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.
Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant, however, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur. With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. The recent emergence of Omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/omicron-variant.html)
The CDC says the updated guidance regarding isolation and quarantine length is in keeping with growing evidence that people with the coronavirus are most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop. The CDC on Monday shortened the recommended isolation time for people infected with COVID-19 from 10 days to five if they are asymptomatic. Check with your physician.
- CDC continues to recommend wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, regardless of vaccination status.
- CDC provides advice about masks for people who want to learn more about what type is right for them depending on their circumstances.
- Cloth masks should be washed after every use.
To Your good health.