News Flash

Breaking News

Posted on: May 1, 2020

What to Expect If You Have Been Exposed To COVID-19

If communities are unable to effectively isolate COVID-19 patients and ensure contacts of the patient separate themselves from others, rapid community spread of COVID-19 is likely to increase. The following procedures are used by Reno County Health Department to try to contain the virus.

  • Public health staff work with a patient to help them recall everyone they have had close contact with during the time they may have been infectious.
  • Public health staff warn the exposed individuals (contacts) of their potential exposure as quickly as possible.
  • To protect patient privacy and follow HIPAA regulations, contacts are only informed that they may have been exposed to a patient with the infection. They are not told the identity of the patient who may have exposed them.
  • Contacts are provided with education, information, and support to understand their risk, what they should do to separate themselves from others, monitor themselves for illness, and the possibility that they could spread the infection to others even if they do not feel ill.
  • Contacts are told to stay home and maintain social distance from others (at least 6 feet) until 14 days after their last exposure. They should monitor themselves by checking their temperature and watching for cough or shortness of breath. Public health staff checks with contacts to make sure they are self-monitoring and have not developed symptoms. Contacts who develop symptoms should promptly isolate themselves and notify public health staff. 

Following this process is critical to help protect our community from further spread. Other recommendations to contain the spread of COVID-19 include the following:

  • frequent hand washing
  • proper respiratory etiquette such as coughing and sneezing into your elbow bend
  • limited handshakes and physical contact
  • wearing a mask when in public
  • staying home if you are feeling ill and calling your primary care physician to discuss any symptoms


Facebook Twitter Email