Reminder: There are other illnesses still circulating. This week, you’ve had two Hepatitis A cases and one infectious TB. Interesting note about the Hep A: the health department did not require vaccinating all co-workers and did not go public because the employee worked gloved. This is a health department that traditionally went public in the past.
Your questions today made us laugh more than other days. From a saga about how buying fresh crabs at $6 a pound lead to a COVID exposure, to how many employees shared bongs over the last few days (a lot!)
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. We’ve had some outdoor parties and other events where everyone didn’t need to be excluded. We have even had versions where they attended a party and shared a bong or a hookah. But for this indoor party, the exclusion is clear. They were definitely within 6 feet for 30+ minutes. It’s also clear for sharing a bong or a hookah, where they are absolutely at risk for spread of COVID droplets.
A COVID-19 test is just a snapshot in time. On that day, at that moment, the employee tested negative. However, the incubation period is 2 to 14 days, averaging 5.2 or 5.3 days. Someone who was exposed might be incubating the virus and doesn’t yet have it at detectable levels at the time of that initial test.
Here’s a good example: an employee had a low grade fever for nearly a week and had few other symptoms, was tested on day 7 and received negative results on day 8. The very next day she experienced a loss of taste and smell (that lasted five days). Little doubt she had COVID even though that first test was negative. In fact, her doctor didn’t recommend a second test and had strongly advised her to maintain self-quarantine after the first negative test. She’s glad she followed his advice.
Good question, and probably not. The issue here is that everyone will eventually test negative after testing positive… but obviously this employee didn’t want to believe that. This remains a ten day minimum exclusions (including three days fever free without fever reducing medication).
Many of you are asking lots of questions about travel. This NYT article frames the issues well.