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​Updated COVID-19 Guidance From the CDC

Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH) encourages our community to keep up with the latest information regarding COVID-19 guidance because the virus continues to circulate globally, and in our community. At this point in the pandemic, we have the power to stop COVID-19 from seriously disrupting our lives and the lives of those at highest risk in our community. Tools like masks, tests, and good ventilation lessen our exposure to the virus, and tools like vaccines, boosters, and treatments protect us from severe illness. 

To help people better understand their risk for getting very sick from COVID-19 and help them make informed decisions about which prevention strategies are needed, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently streamlined its COVID-19 guidance. Which prevention actions to layer will continue to be informed by the COVID-19 Community Levels; the current level for Mecklenburg County is posted on the MCPH COVID-19 Webpage. This includes the recommendation of staying up to date with vaccination to protect against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.  

Cartoon graphic highlighting steps to take if you are exposed to COVID-19.

 As the graphic above illustrates, if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, take the following steps: 

  • Watch for symptoms for 10 days. 
  • Wear a mask around others indoors for 10 days. 
  • Test 5 days after exposure or sooner if you have symptoms. 
  • Take extra precautions, like physical distancing and increased ventilation, for 10 days when around people more likely to get very sick. 

Graphic highlighting steps to take if you test positive

As the graphic above illustrates, here’s what to do if you test positive for COVID 19: 

  • After day 0 (positive test date or start of symptoms), stay home and away from others (isolate) for 5 days and talk with your provider about treatment options if you are at risk of severe illness. 
    • If you never had symptoms or your symptoms are better and you haven't had a fever in 24 hours without the use of medication, you may end isolation on day 6. 
    • If you still have a fever after 5 days of isolation, continue to isolate at home until your fever has been gone for 24 hours. 

  • After ending isolation on day 6, wear a mask around others for 5 more days. 
    • If after day 6 you have negative results from 2 at-home tests taken 48 hours apart, you may be around others without a mask sooner than day 11.  

The CDC will continue to focus efforts on preventing severe illness and will work to ensure everyone, especially those at highest risk, has the information and tools they need to take action to lower their risk (and protect others around them) from severe illness. Guidance for healthcare settings, congregate settings at higher risk of transmission, and travel is being updated and will be issued in the coming weeks. 

For additional information, visit the MCPH COVID-19 Webpage