As of May 5, 2020, Macon County has no active positive cases of COVID-19.
COVID-19 is such a new virus, we are still learning about the recovery process. A person who tests positive is asked to self-isolate to help prevent transmitting the disease to others until being deemed “recovered”.
The CDC offers multiple guidance strategies for when isolation can end based on whether the person was symptomatic or asymptomatic. In either case, public health works closely with the Department of Health and Senior Services throughout the entire disease process.
Symptomatic people that test positive for COVID-19 can fall under either of the following strategies to determine recovery:
- Symptom-based strategy
- At least 72 hours have passed with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and, improvement in respiratory symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath; and,
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
- Test-based strategy
- 2 negative COVID-19 tests completed greater than 24 hours apart; and
- Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and,
- Improvement in respiratory symptoms.
Asymptomatic people that test positive for COVID-19 can fall under either of the following strategies to determine recovery:
- Time-based strategy
- At least 10 days have passed since their first positive COVID-19 test, and,
- No symptoms have developed.
- Test-based strategy
- 2 negative COVID-19 tests completed greater than 24 hours apart.
These strategies may result in different timeframes for the discontinuation of isolation. The decision to discontinue isolation will be made by working closely with your local health department.
We are still learning about the COVID-19 disease process and how long a person is contagious. This is why there are multiple ways to determine when isolation should end. Symptoms cannot always be used to determine where the individual is in the course of their illness because each person can respond differently to the virus. The time it takes a person to work through the disease process, from onset of the disease to shedding it, depends on a number of factors including a person’s general health.
Viral shedding is a process that occurs when the virus copies itself inside your body and is then released by your body into the environment. When viral shedding is occurring, the person is considered contagious. We are still learning about viral shedding of COVID-19. Research shows that viral shedding of COVID-19 could be happening before symptoms start and while the person is symptomatic. This is why it could possibly be longer or shorter than 10 days after the confirmation of the first positive test before they can discontinue isolation. We are still learning about the viral shredding process after the symptoms discontinue or for someone who has been asymptomatic.
With COVID-19 being a new virus, we will continue to learn about the disease process in the weeks and months to come. What we do know is that until a vaccine is developed, following social distancing guidelines and continuing to protect our vulnerable family and friends is the best way to contain the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community healthy.