Did you test positive for COVID-19?
Anyone that tests positive for COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days. If there are no symptoms or your symptoms are improving, and you are fever free without the use of medication, after the 5th day of isolation, you can leave home. However, during the next 5 additional days, a mask should be strictly worn around others. It is recommended to not travel during this time and to stay away from immunocompromised people.
It is recommended that you continue to isolate beyond day 5 if your symptoms are not improving. We suggest that your child does not leave the home until they are fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.
Have you been exposed to others?
If you have a COVID exposure, your quarantine will be determined based upon vaccination status. Regardless of vaccination status, the CDC recommends testing on day 5 following exposure if possible, and testing supplies allow.
If fully vaccinated (you have been boosted OR have completed the Pfizer of Moderna series of vaccines within the past 6-months OR have completed the J&J vaccine within the past 2-months), quarantining is not required, but you should wear a mask when around others for the 10 days following the exposure.
If you are not fully vaccinated, you should quarantine for 5 days. It is suggested that you test on day 5 if possible and testing supplies allow and wear a mask around others for an additional 5 days. If you develop symptoms or test positive, stay home.
When should you test your child for COVID-19?
We are receiving many appointment requests to test for COVID-19 due to direct exposure. Even with the new guidance from the CDC it is recommended that testing occurs upon the onset of symptoms of COVID-19 or on day 5 after exposure to someone known to have COVID-19.
We are offering as many COVID test appointments as our schedule will allow at this time. We are prioritizing testing for patients that are experiencing symptoms. If you have been exposed, have mild symptoms and testing supplies or appointments are not readily available, we will suggest you test on day 5 instead of both on the onset of symptoms and day 5. If the test is negative on day 5, this will allow your child clearance to return to normal activities. Please stay home if you child is not feeling well.
Does your PCR COVID test detect the Omicron variant?
Yes, we use the Abbott ID Now molecular tests to detect COVID-19 in patients. These tests were designed to detect certain genetic targets that are present with any variant of COVID-19. While our tests can determine if your child has COVID, they do not provide results stating which variant your child is ill with.
Should you trust the COVID-19 Home Test Results?
Antigen tests are generally less likely to detect early infections of COVID compared to molecular tests. However, if your test shows a positive result, it is likely to be correct and you should isolate yourself per the new CDC guidelines. If you receive a negative test result, but still are experiencing symptoms or have a high likelihood of infection due to recent exposure, a PCR test may be useful in determining if you have COVID-19.
Based upon recently reported research, the Abbott BinaxNOW and Quidel QuickVue antigen tests have shown they are able to detect the omicron variant with similar performance as with other variants. The FDA is currently working with test developers to evaluate the impact of the Omicron variant on diagnostic tests.
Should you still vaccinate your child against COVID-19?
Yes, vaccines remain the best public health measure to help protect your child and others from COVID-19. The CDC reports that in data shared from the United Kingdom and South Africa that if an individual is fully vaccinated or boosted, that the vaccine effectiveness against an infection is 75%. Even if a breakthrough infection occurs, individuals generally have milder illness and are less likely to need to be cared for in the hospital.
Vaccines are now available to ages 5 and up! And Booster doses are available to ages 12 and older. The Pfizer booster vaccine can be given 5 months after your child’s second dose. The Moderna booster is still suggested to be given at 6 months after the second dose Johnson and Johnson 2 months after the first dose. Some immunocompromised patients qualify for a 3rd dose 28 days after the completion of their initial series of Pfizer and Moderna. Data does not support this extra dose for Johnson and Johnson at this time.
“The following is attributable to CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky:
‘The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society. CDC’s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses. These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives. Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather.’”
- CDC Updates and Shortens Recommended Isolation and Quarantine Period for General Population: Media Statement
- CDC Your Guide to Masks
- Healthy Children Does the COVID-19 vaccine protect kids from the omicron and delta variants of the virus?