What happens after you test positive for COVID-19 in Kentucky? – WKYT

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – If you should test positive for COVID-19, the amount of time you’ll be asked to isolate can vary. One of the biggest factors is whether or not you are showing symptoms of the virus.

People from multiple local health departments tell WKYT they all had a similar process when someone tested positive for COVID-19.

That includes reaching out to the infected, to see if anyone else might need to quarantine.

“Contact tracing has been used for many many years,” said Cassie Prather with the Woodford County Department. ”This is nothing new. But for some reason with Covid has just taken a different turn. So that’s very unfortunate, but we use the same methods to control communicable diseases. With HIV, measles, tuberculosis.”

That includes contacts made in the days prior to testing positive, or showing symptoms, when they may not have even known they were potentially infecting others.

“There’s just a lot we don’t know about this virus,” said Jennifer Burchett with the Clark County Department. “However, we do know there is asymptomatic spread, in other words, someone who does not have symptoms can be spreading it in the community and not realize it.”

Kelvin Hernandez is going through that isolation process for the second time. He’s tested positive for COVID-19 twice and says the health department has kept in contact while he recovers.

He also says staying in touch with his friends and family has been a big help.

“You feel so far away from everyone,” said Hernandez. “The entire world. So it’s really important for everyone to have a strong support system, virtually obviously.”

The state has guidelines, but individual departments can have their own policies.

They say they use the same formula for determining how long someone who tests positive needs to be in isolation.

At least ten days from the start of symptoms or ten days from when the test was administered.

But you also have to meet certain criteria at the end of your isolation.

“It used to be 72 hours after they had no symptoms, but now the CDC has just changed that to 24 hours,” said Jessica Cobb with the Lexington-Fayette County Department. “So things continuously change and we try to make sure we have the continuous updates with our staff and are following those different guidelines.”

With so much still unknown, they say it’s not possible to be too cautious. They also know those guidelines could change again.

“The only thing that trumps science is better science,” Prather said. “And we’re learning about this as we go.”

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