What COVID-19 prevention measures should I follow?

Based on recommendations from the State, CDC, availability of vaccines, and stakeholder feedback, YKHC created the following tool to help people and communities understand what steps to take to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

This tool relies on the Community Advisory Update, offering guidance for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, published on March 11, 2022. View the complete guidance document here. 

YKHC strongly urges all eligible individuals to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Schedule an appointment today with your YKHC provider to ask questions about COVID-19 vaccines or sign-up for vaccination online.

 

I WANT TO KNOW...

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Whether or not certain activities can be performed safely depends on four actors: 

  1. If a person is vaccinated and boosted.
  2. The COVID-19 level in the community. YKHC publishes transmission risk level by sub-region on our COVID-19 dashboard.
  3. The size and location of the gathering. Small gatherings are generally safer than large gatherings (typically comprised of greater than 10 people). Outdoor activities are generally safer than indoor activities, especially in areas with poor ventilation.
  4. The duration of the exposure.

Prevention strategies may vary based on the level of risk in  the community, which includes both the number and severity of cases. 

At all levels, individuals should stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, including getting a booster shot when eligible; maintain improved ventilation in public indoor spaces; and follow testing and quarantine/isolation guidance. 

At medium risk, implement screening testing at workplaces, schools, or other community settings. Individuals and communities may choose additional measures to protect people at high risk for severe illness of death, such as wearing a well-fitting mask outside your household, or self-testing to detect infection before gathering with persons at high risk for severe disease.

If a community is experiencing high transmission, YKHC recommends the immediate implementation of community-wide strategies that reduce the spread of COVUD-19, including buy not limited to : universal masking, avoiding or rescheduling large gatherings, social distancing, and expanding testing. 

Since hospitalizations and deaths often follow outbreaks, communities, businesses, and individuals may also consider implementing these strategies in response to a known or suspect outbreak, regardless of current hospitalization rates in an effort to suppress the outbreak. 

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Testing may be utilized in a variety of situations such as: 

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms 
  • If you have been exposed or potentially exposed to an individual with COVID-19. 
  • Before and after gathering indoors with others. 
  • Before travel or high-risk activities like attending large gatherings or participating in contact sports 
  • 5 days after travel or high-risk activities 

Testing can give you information about the risk of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. This is especially important when in contact with unvaccinated children, older individuals, those who are immunocompromised, or individuals at risk of severe disease. 

A positive test result indicates that you likely have a current infection, and you should isolate and inform close contacts. 

A negative test result indicates that you may not be infected and may be at low risk of spreading disease to others, but it does not rule out an infection. Performing serial tests, meaning two or more tests over several days with at least 24 hours between tests improves the reliability of testing and reduces your risk of transmitting disease to others even further. Some self-tests require this type of repeat testing in the manufacturer’s instructions. 

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People who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 need to isolate regardless of their vaccination status. Isolation is used to separate people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 from those without COVID-19.

People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others, typically 10 days. At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, or wear a well-fitting mask when they need to be around others. Avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, and nursing homes and other high-risk settings. People in isolation should stay in a specific “sick room” or area and use a separate bathroom if available. 

Isolation can be discontinued after day 5 with a negative Antigen test (BinaxNow, Quickvue, SOFIA, etc.) if symptoms are resolving and fever has resolved for at least 24 yours (without the use of fever-reducing medications). If isolation is ended after 5 days, a well-fitting mask should be worn when around others both at home and in public for an additional 5 days.

If you do not have a negative antigen test, are unable to wear a mask when around others, continue to have fever, or your other symptoms have not improved, you should continue to isolate for a full 10 days or until the above conditions are met. 

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If you tested positive on an at-home COVID-19 test, please report your positive test to YKHC by calling contact tracing at 907-543-6420, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,Monday through Friday.

People who are confirmed to have COVID-19 need to isolate regardless of their vaccination status. Isolation is used to separate people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from those without COVID-19. 

People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others, typically 10 days. At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, or wear a well-fitting mask when they need to be around others. Avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, and nursing homes and other high-risk settings. People in isolation should stay in a specific “sick room” or area and use a separate bathroom if available.

Isolation can be discontinued after day 5 with a negative Antigen test (BinaxNow, Quickvue, SOFIA, etc.) if symptoms are resolving and fever has resolved for at least 24 yours (without the use of fever-reducing medications). If isolation is ended after 5 days, a well-fitting mask should be worn when around others both at home and in public for an additional 5 days. 

If you do not have a negative antigen test, are unable to wear a mask when around others, continue to have fever, or your other symptoms have not improved, you should continue to isolate for a full 10 days or until the above conditions are met.

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Anyone who develops symptoms within 14 days of an exposure (regardless of vaccination status) should immediately self-isolate and seek testing. Local communities may decide to continue a 14-day quarantine for residents. Local travel or quarantine restrictions must still be followed. All persons should check with their local government and employer for further guidance.

If you do not have symptoms, quarantine recommendations vary based on if you live with the person who is positive with COVID and if you are up-to-date with your vaccination status. “Up-to-date” with your vaccinations means you have completed your primary series AND have received a booster or got your last dose of Pfizer or Moderna less than five months ago (or J&J less than two months ago) or are under age 12.

 Select the box that best matches your situation to learn more.

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You should quarantine at home and away from other people for 10 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. Quarantine can end after day 5 with a negative COVID-19 test. The test should be performed on the last day of quarantine. 

The date of your exposure is considered day 0. Individuals with ongoing contact, such as people living with household members who are COVID-19 positive are exposed every day until that person is cleared from isolation. Every day you are exposed, you must restart at 0. 

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YKHC recommends you quarantine for the same length of time the person who tested positive is in isolation. COVID-19 testing should occur on Day 1, followed by repeat testing on Day 5, and the end of quarantine. 

Continue to wear a well-fitting mask when around others at home and in public, and monitor for symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath for 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19. You should also stay away from places you would remove a mask like restaurants and gyms, avoid eating around others, and avoid close contact with people at a high risk for severe COVID-19 infection during this time. If you test positive or develop COVID-19 symptoms, isolate from other people and follow recommendations sections related to having symptoms or a positive test result above. isolate from other people and follow recommendations sections related to having symptoms or a positive test result above. 

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You do not need to quarantine. You should wear a well-fitting mask around others. Get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19 (the date of last close contact is considered day 0). If you do not develop symptoms and your test is negative you can leave isolation. 

Continue to wear a well-fitting mask when around others at home and in public, and monitor for symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath for 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19. You should also stay away from places you would remove a mask like restaurants and gyms, avoid eating around others, and avoid close contact with people at a high risk for severe COVID-19 infection during this time. If you test positive or develop COVID-19 symptoms, isolate from other people and follow recommendations sections related to having symptoms or a positive test result above. 

Testing RECOMMENDATIONS

Testing may be utilized in a variety of situations such as: 

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms 
  • If you have been exposed or potentially exposed to an individual with COVID-19. 
  • Before and after gathering indoors with others. 
  • Before travel or high-risk activities like attending large gatherings or participating in contact sports 
  • 5 days after travel or high-risk activities 
Definitions

Who is a “close contact” of someone who tested positive for COVID-19?
A close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, even if one or both people wore masks when together.

What is ongoing exposure?
Ongoing exposure occurs when a close contact lives in the same household as a person who is COVID-positive and cannot reasonably stay separated. This may occur when the infected person is a child who needs care from the parent, or if the household layout does not allow the infected person to stay isolated in a separate room.


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