I need to make an appointment for a non-COVID-19 health condition. Is it safe to come to the hospital? Answers to this and other FAQs about how Mass General is prepared to provide general care to patients.
If you’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, it is important that you take the correct steps to minimize the spread of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shares three steps to protect yourself and others.
If you are experiencing any common symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever or cough, please call your primary health care provider for guidance. For your safety and the safety of others, please do not come to an urgent care clinic or emergency room unless you have been instructed to do so. Wear a mask at all times around others.
People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 need to stay away from others. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health and follow directions from their state and local health department.
Close contact can include:
- If you are within six feet of someone with COVID-19 infection, the infection could spread to you through droplets when the person sneezes or coughs
- If you touch an object—such as a door handle—that has the COVID-19 virus on it, and then you touch your mouth, nose or eyes, you can infect yourself
- If you are helping care for someone with COVID-19 and you are within six feet of them when they cough or sneeze
2. Stay Home and Monitor Your Health
- Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who had COVID-19
- Watch for symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, new loss of taste or smell. These are just some of the common symptoms of COVID-19
- If you are experiencing common symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever or cough, please call your primary health care provider for guidance. Your provider will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms such as difficulty breathing or pressure in the chest, please call 911
3. Reduce Quarantine Time by Getting Tested
According to the CDC, follow the recommendations of your local health department to reduce the amount of time quarantining.
Options may include discontinuing quarantine:
- After day 14 without testing
- After day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)
After you stop quarantining, you should:
- Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure
- If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your primary health care provider for guidance. For your safety and the safety of others, please do not come to an urgent care clinic or emergency room unless you have been instructed to do so
- Wear a mask, stay six feet away from others and take other steps to stop the spread of COVID-19
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