If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
Ultimately you should talk to your doctor, and if you’re booster eligible, you should get whatever brand of booster that’s available to you. But if you have the option, there is some good science that shows that mix-and-match boosters seem to provide better protection than an additional dose of the same brand. Regardless, unless a doctor has recommended otherwise, your booster should be mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) and not J&J, since evidence shows that J&J offers less protection overall, and the CDC recommends an mRNA booster for those who got their first dose or even their first two doses of J&J.
You’re not alone! There was recently a Washington Post article about this phenomenon. First thing’s first: you might still have COVID. If you’re sick and you get a negative rapid test, you might still have COVID. Many people test negative for the first few days of symptoms, and only start testing positive on Day 2 or 3. But if your symptoms completely go away immediately after you see that negative test, there’s also a chance that your symptoms were actually stress-related. The anxiety around getting COVID is real, and can create real physiological symptoms. Still, if your symptoms return or if you have reason to think you were exposed, it’s best not to rely too heavily on that negative test. Stay home when you’re sick, and remember that two negative tests 24 hours apart are much more reliable than a single one.
The FDA has been extending the expiration dates of many COVID tests as manufacturers continue to study the effectiveness of their products over time. When they were first approved for emergency use, most tests had a relatively short time until the expiration date because the companies making them didn’t have the time to conduct studies about how long they could hold up, since they needed to rush them to market during the height of the pandemic. Since then, they’ve continued to study how long they’re good for, and submit that to the FDA to get an extension. In some cases, the same test is extended multiple times, as soon as there’s good data showing that it’s shelf-life is longer than what was previously approved.
You can check in the Expiration Date column of this FDA web page. If the Expiration Date column says that the shelf-life is “extended,” there is a link to “updated expiration dates” where you can find a list of the original expiration dates and the new expiration dates. Find the original expiration date on the box label of your test and then look for the new expiration date in the “updated expiration dates” table for your test. If the Expiration Date column doesn’t say anything about extended shelf-life, then the expiration date on your box is still correct, and you should avoid using it if you can.
For the most part, yes, most of our clients are still having managers notify people if they had prolonged close contact (within 6ft for 15+ minutes) in the two days before someone tested positive or developed symptoms, with some choosing to follow up by email afterward. There are some places, like California, that no longer explicitly require employers to do that, but many of our CA clients are still doing so to cover their bases and to ensure that people who may have gotten a bit lax about working when sick take any symptoms more seriously if they know they’ve been exposed.
A note from the ZHH team:
You look to us for clinical and medical guidance both in and out of the workplace. It is ours and nearly every medical association in the country’s clear opinion that safe abortion care is essential health care, so we’re here to be a resource for you or your employees. The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade today, which will severely limit access to safe abortions for people across the country. For your employees who are seeking safe reproductive health services, they can visit plannedparenthood.org or this access map from the Cut.