People who have had the coronavirus might wonder when it's safe to return to work or if they have to be retested. Terra Uhing, executive director of Three Rivers Public Health Department, shared what it takes if a person has been deemed positive by a lab-confirmed test.
"The 10-day isolation period starts the day of symptoms," she said. "The last 24 hours of your isolation you have to be without fever and not using fever reducing medicine and have symptom improvement."
For those who test positive and are asymptomatic, the 10-day isolation period starts the date they are tested before they can return to work.
According to the CDC, the symptom of loss of taste and smell can last for weeks and months and shouldn't delay the end of isolation.
"Right now, we believe you should be good for up to 90 days after you recover from potentially getting COVID-19 again," Uhing said. "This is science, this is changing so I still like to tell people when they go back to work, even though they've had it and likely aren't going to get it again, you aren't going to infect others."
Uhing said they should still wash their hands, practice social distancing and wear masks if not able to be 6 feet apart. They don't recommend getting another test after the first positive test.
"People don't need to retest for a negative to return to work," Uhing said. "We know for up to 90 days they can still show they are positive even though they are not technically shedding the virus."
Uhing said after a person has been positive there isn't worry about that person making anyone else sick.
"That's what the 10-day isolation is for. Those at work should not be worried," she said. "Make sure there are good disinfection procedures, masks, and make sure you are doing everything to ensure the health of your workforce."
Uhing asked for flexibility and grace as the health department and everyone works through the pandemic.
“We are changing guidance all the time,” she said. “We pivot and do what's in best interest of the community while being as transparent as we can with the information.”