Please note the most up-to-date guidelines for COVID exposure, testing, and boosters.
As always, the COVID-19 pandemic brings questions from our patients about everchanging guidelines/recommendations regarding treatment, vaccination/boosters and isolation.
COVID Booster Shots
Right now, the hot topic is booster recommendations. We continue to urge everyone to get vaccinated to help protect themselves and our community. Per CDC guidelines, as of October 21, 2021, there are guidelines for boosters for all three vaccinations. For those initially vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna, the following individuals are eligible for a booster (once 6 months out from initial series):
- Age 65 years or older
- Age 18+ living in long-term care settings
- Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung diseases, dementia, diabetes, down syndrome, heart conditions, HIV infection, immunocompromising conditions, liver disease, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, current or former smoker and substance use disorders.
- Age 18+ working or living in high-risk settings such as schools, medical facilities, corrections workers, grocery store workers, US postal service workers, and public transit workers.
Anyone 18 years of age or older who had Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 2 months ago is eligible for a booster.
All patients eligible for booster vaccines can choose any type of booster. The CDC has approved “mix and match” for booster shots.
We have heard from many patients that scheduling these boosters is difficult. Try using one of the larger chain pharmacies ‘ websites to schedule these. Several patients report this has been the easiest way to get their booster shot scheduled.
COVID Exposure and Testing
As a reminder, exposure is defined as being within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative 15 minutes within a 24-hour period.
Here are the latest guidelines for VACCINATED individuals who have had a positive exposure
- Mask for 14 days after exposure
- At least 3 days from exposure, get tested even if asymptomatic
- Continue to monitor for symptoms and retest if symptoms arise
- If vaccinated, you do not have to isolate after exposure unless positive
For UNVACCINATED individuals, you should do the following after an exposure:
- Isolate immediately
- Test at least 5 days from exposure, sooner if symptomatic
- Continue isolation, if negative, for 14 days from exposure
- Retest during isolation period if symptoms arise
For those who test POSITIVE for COVID-19:
- Isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms
- If asymptomatic at time of test, isolate 10 days from day of test
- Anyone 18 yo + should strongly consider monoclonal antibody infusion – we can help coordinate. Must be given within first 10 days of symptoms.
- Monitor for high fever, shortness of breath, lethargy
As always, we are able to test both member and nonmember patients through these options.