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You’re exposed to someone with COVID-19. Now what?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – We know many people have questions about COVID-19. One way to get answers to those questions is through the Baptist Health hotline, which is staffed by nurses Monday through Friday.

Perhaps the most frequently asked question is: what should you do if they’re exposed to someone who has the virus? Dr. Patricia Calhoun, who works in internal medicine for Baptist Health, said quarantining is the answer.

“If you’ve had an absolutely exposure and you are completely asymptomatic, you should quarantine for 14 days,” she said. “But the question becomes if there is an exposure to an exposure and somewhere down the road that you really have no had an exact exposure, we need to still be self-monitoring for fever, cough (and) shortness of breath regardless.”

If you’re not certain whether you’ve been exposed or not, it’s recommended that you call your doctor.

Another commonly asked question: if the results of an antibody test are positive for exposure to the virus, should you feel assured that you won’t get COVID-19 again?

“We don’t know long-term wise if it’s going to confer immunity,” Dr. Calhoun said. “Meaning, if you’re positive and you’ve been exposed that that’s going to last, so there are many uncertainties to the antibody test.”

The bottom line, it’s too soon for doctors to know about about coronavirus antibodies to tell anyone they are completely immune to getting COVID-19 again, even if they test positive for its antibodies.

Also unclear is how long any immunity would last.

Have other questions? Try calling Baptist Health’s hotline. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and staffed by medical professionals. Just dial 904-302-5050.


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