Guidelines to follow if you get COVID, local pediatrician recommends vaccine

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 10:43 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - As the fourth wave of COVID-19 continues to surge, one local pediatrician wants to remind people of important coronavirus guidelines.

If you’re vaccinated and have been exposed to someone with COVID, Dr. Bridgette Foreman, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the Freedman Clinic of Internal Medicine and Pediatric Hospitalist at Cabrini, said you don’t have to strictly quarantine. However, you should wear a mask and monitor for symptoms over the next 10 to 14 days. If you do develop symptoms, Foreman said you should assume that it’s COVID, get tested and avoid any unnecessary contact.

On the other hand, if you haven’t been vaccinated and are exposed to someone with COVID, you should quarantine immediately. If you’re living with someone who has COVID, Foreman said your 10 to 14 day quarantine period doesn’t start until your last known contact with that person.

“So if my husband and I live together and I get COVID then my husband’s quarantine time doesn’t start until my 10 days are over,” Dr. Foreman said. “His time doesn’t start until his last contact with me during my isolation time. So then his time clock for 14 days starts at the end of mine. If at any point he develops symptoms and tests positive, then his time clock for 10 days starts at that point.”

It’s also important to note, a negative COVID test doesn’t necessarily rule out the virus. With all of the dangers associated with coronavirus, Foreman said it was an easy decision for her to get the vaccine.

“I look at these two options because that’s really all there are: risk getting COVID with the vaccine on board or get COVID without the protection of the vaccine, and I decide which of those carries a lower risk,” Foreman said. “And I think thinking about it in that scenario makes it very easy to say, I choose the vaccine because I know the protection that it affords me in reducing hospitalizations and deaths.”

Health officials are seeing fewer cases of loss of taste and smell and more cases involving headaches, fatigue, GI symptoms and allergies.

When it comes to our younger population, Dr. Foreman said it’s possible for kids to test positive for both RSV and COVID. Even if you test once for COVID and it comes back negative, it may be a good idea to get re-tested a few days later if symptoms persist.

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