When a positive COVID-19 case occurs in Hardin County, the local health department is notified so that contact can be made with that individual. The Health Department consults with the COVID-19 positive individual to ensure that they are isolating properly. They must be isolated for a minimum of 7 days after symptoms began. The positive individual must go 72 hours without a fever (without fever-reducing medication) and other symptoms have improved.
The Health Department also gathers information on who the positive case came into close contact with. You generally need to be in close contact with a person with COVID-19 to get infected. Close contact includes:
– Living in the same household as a person with COVID-19
– Caring for a person with COVID-19
– Being within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for about 15 minutes, OR
– Being in direct contact with secretions from a person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.).
If you are a close contact without symptoms, you will be required to self-quarantine at home and report your temperature and any symptoms daily to the health department. After the 14 days, if you do not have symptoms you are considered low risk of contracting the virus from the person who was confirmed to have COVID-19.
If you have been in CLOSE CONTACT with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and you test negative, you still need to quarantine for 14 days.
If you have NOT been in close contact with someone and you decide to get tested and that test comes back negative, you are not required to quarantine for 14 days.
You may be contacted by the health department if you have been in CLOSE contact (within 6 feet for about 15 minutes) to someone 48 hours or less before they tested positive for COVID-19 or 48 hours or less of when they started showing symptoms for COVID-19.
Cases of COVID-19 do occur due to community spread, which means you could become infected by an unknown source, either another person or after touching a contaminated surface. That is why hand hygiene and social distancing are important prevention measures. If you have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 and it is considered to be a low-risk exposure, you can continue to go to work and school but should monitor your health for 14 days and stay away from others if you get sick.
What you can do as a community member?
– Limit trips away from home to work, groceries/food, gas, checking on elderly family members, exercise
– Maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from others when out
– Contact your healthcare provider if you experience signs of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, or have been exposed to COVID-19
– Follow CDC (cdc.gov), IDPH and the Illinois Coronavirus (coronavirus.illinois.gov) website for guidance .