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How long before you can meet a loved one in person after contracting COVID-19?

If you have been in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, the urge to meet a loved can be very strong. However, it is important to know the correct time period before you can get back to normal scheme of things and not put those around you at the risk of virus exposure. 

Health Desk Written by: Health Desk
New Delhi Published on: January 20, 2022 11:07 IST
How long before you can meet a loved one in person after contracting COVID-19?
Image Source : INSTAGRAM/CDCGOV

How long before you can meet a loved one in person after contracting COVID-19?

COVID-19 infection is claiming more victims by the hour. Amid an ongoing resurgence across the world, the global coronavirus caseload has topped 337.1 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 5.56 million and vaccinations to over 9.71 billion, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Since the virus spreads among people who are in close contact with the infected, it is important to know the correct timeline for isolation if you have contracted the deadly virus. The urge to meet a loved one may be quite strong, especially when a person who has been infected has to keep themselves away for the period of infection and recovery. Know how long you have to wait before meeting a loved one if you have contracted the novel coronavirus or any of its variants. 

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the USA-based public health organisation, has published a list of isolation periods with a different group of people. According to CDC, children and people with mild COVID symptoms must complete five days of isolation after symptom onset and after body temperature remains normal for 24 hours without medication. However, they should keep wearing a mask while they are around other people for five more days and can come back to their comfort zone after that.

People who have moderate COVID-19 illness are recommended to isolate for 10 days. 

For people who are infected but asymptomatic (never develop symptoms) isolation can end at least 5 days after the first positive test (with day 0 being the date their specimen was collected for the positive test), if these people can continue to wear a properly well-fitted mask around others for 5 more days after the 5-day isolation period. However, if symptoms develop after a positive test, their 5-day isolation period should start over (day 0 changes to the first day of symptoms).

For people who are severely ill (i.e., requiring hospitalization, intensive care, or ventilation support), extending the duration of isolation and precautions to at least 10 days and up to 20 days after symptom onset, and after fever ends (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and symptoms are improving, may be warranted.

For people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised might have a longer infectious period, extend isolation to 20 or more days (day 0 is the first day of symptoms or a positive viral test). Use a test-based strategy and consult with an infectious disease specialist to determine the appropriate duration of isolation and precautions.

Recovered patients: Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 can continue to have detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA in upper respiratory specimens for up to 3 months after illness onset. However, replication-competent virus has not been reliably recovered from such patients, and they are not likely infectious.

It must be kept in mind that COVID-19 is highly contagious and the only way to prevent the infection from spreading is by wearing a triple-layer mask, maintaining social distance and regular sanitisation. Both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine also help you to prevent the disease as it increases your immunity and prepares your body to fight the infection. Additional booster shots are also available for people who are in the high risk category. 

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Please consult a doctor before starting any fitness regime or medical advice.