With Omicron subvariant spreading, here’s what to do if you test positive for COVID-19

Published: May. 21, 2022 at 5:27 AM EDT
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ATLANTA (CNN) - New COVID-19 cases are on the rise in most states as the highly contagious Omicron subvariant spreads nationwide.

Two years into the pandemic, many still may not know what to do after testing positive. How long should you isolate? What therapies are now available?

An offshoot of the Omicron variant has become the dominant strain of the coronavirus across the United States.

“In areas where community levels are high, everyone should be using prevention measures and wearing a mask in public indoor settings,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says.

If you do test positive, whether in a home testing kit or after a PCR test, experts say you should isolate immediately.

At home, go to a room away from others.

If you get your result at work, put on a high-quality mask like an N95 in public places until you get home.

How long should you isolate? At least five days, the experts say.

Day one is 24 hours after the positive test or the appearance of symptoms.

That means not being in the same room with others, not going to work and wearing a well-fitting mask while in common areas. Open the windows as much as possible.

After the fifth day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says if you have no fever and symptoms are improving, you can go into public places with a well-fitting mask.

But some schools and workplaces may have their own policies.

The CDC says an infected person should still wear a mask around others, even at home, through Day 10.

After a positive test, talk to your doctor to see if you are eligible for therapeutics all meant to be taken before someone gets severely sick. There are antiviral pills which can be taken at home as well as two types of injections or infusions for those at higher risk.

The sooner you start them, the more effective they will be.

Those who do not have a regular doctor also have options. including going to a “test and treat” facility where you can get tested, see an urgent care provider and get the therapies all at the same place.

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