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    Negative test result for coronavirus (COVID

    Find out what a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test result means and what you should do when you get your result.

    Negative test result for coronavirus (COVID-19)

    A negative result means it’s likely you are not infectious.

    But a negative test is not a guarantee you do not have COVID-19 and there’s still a chance you may be infectious. You should follow advice on how to avoid catching and spreading the virus.

    If you have a health condition which means you’re eligible for COVID-19 treatments from the NHS

    If you’re eligible for COVID-19 treatments and did a free NHS rapid lateral flow test, make sure you report your negative test result to the NHS. Find out how to report your test result

    You may need to do another test. To find out what to do, read the full advice about testing if you’re eligible for COVID-19 treatment.

    If you’re going into hospital for a procedure

    If you’re going into hospital for a procedure, you should still stay at home and avoid contact with other people until then, even if you’ve tested negative.

    If you have symptoms of COVID-19

    Find out what to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19

    More in Test results and what to do next

    Page last reviewed: 12 May 2022

    Next review due: 26 May 2022

    Source : www.nhs.uk

    Early data suggests many individuals still COVID+ after 5 days of isolation, challenging return

    A preprint of new data collected from healthcare workers at the University of Chicago Medicine found more than half of individuals who felt well enough to work still tested positive at 6 days after symptom onset.

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    Early data suggests many individuals still COVID+ after 5 days of isolation, challenging return-to-work recommendations

    February 3, 2022

    Written By Alison Caldwell, PhD

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    Researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine released preprint data on Medrxiv indicating that despite feeling well enough to work, more than 40% of vaccinated healthcare workers still tested positive for COVID-19 five to 10 days after their symptoms began.

    The results, the team said, may indicate that a large number of people with COVID-19 are still likely contagious after the first five days of their illness, even if they feel fully recovered. Having them return to work before 10 days of isolation without a negative rapid antigen test may increase the risk that they spread the virus to others, the researchers said.

    The data was released February 2 and has not yet been peer-reviewed.

    At odds with current CDC guidelines

    The research follows revised Centers for Disease Control (CDC) isolation recommendations from January, which said individuals with COVID-19 could end their isolation after five days if they were fever-free for 24 hours and experienced either mild-but-improving symptoms or had no symptoms at all.

    The CDC did not recommend people take an additional COVID-19 test after day five, but said anyone who left isolation should wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask around people until they passed the 10-day mark. The public health agency did say anyone who choose to take a rapid antigen test should remain isolated for the full 10 days if the results were positive.

    But groups of doctors cautioned that those recommendations were unsafe, arguing previous studies had shown some people were still contagious until day 10. Without a negative test, critics said, individuals following the new CDC guidelines could return to work while contagious, putting others at risk for contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

    “The CDC isolation recommendations were based on studies collected mostly before the Omicron variant and before people had been vaccinated or infected. In those situations, symptoms generally didn’t start until a person had already reached their peak virus load,” said co-author Emily Landon, MD, Executive Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control at UChicago Medicine, who was the paper’s first author. “In those cases, ending isolation after five days might be reasonable, since earlier data showed few people still had live virus at that point. But with Omicron, we’re potentially seeing earlier symptoms — even before the peak virus load has been reached — which starts the isolation clock several days earlier and leaves more people contagious on days six to 10.”

    In discussion with public health and infectious disease experts, UChicago Medicine developed a policy that allowed fully vaccinated healthcare workers with mild COVID-19 to return to work after five days of isolation. Unlike the CDC’s recommendations, however, UChicago Medicine employees were required to take a rapid antigen test at the hospital as an extra precaution. Health system employees whose rapid tests remained positive were not able to go back to work until they tested negative or they reached day 11, whichever was sooner. Those who returned early had to follow strict masking and distancing guidelines.

    The research team examined 309 rapid antigen tests performed on 260 UChicago Medicine healthcare workers between January 2 and January 12, 2022. Those employees all tested between days five and 10 following the start of their COVID-19 symptoms (or the date of the first positive COVID-19 test, if they were asymptomatic). The results showed 43% of rapid tests during the so-called “early-return period” were positive, even though individuals felt well enough to work.

    Vaccines and omicron are changing the game

    The results, the research team said, have implications for the CDC’s recent return-to-work guidance.

    “The current CDC guidelines place little emphasis on the need for a negative test to exit isolation,” said Michael Mina, MD, PhD, Chief Science Officer of eMed and one of the paper’s co-authors. “The guidance for five days of isolation is based on information gleaned with earlier variants. Now, symptoms — and thus isolation — begin much earlier in the course of a viral infection. This means that many people remain at or near their peak infectiousness at the very time they are exiting isolation.”

    UChicago Medicine’s data also showed individuals who’d received a COVID-19 vaccine booster were significantly more likely to test positive on their first attempt to return to work.

    The research team hypothesized that vaccinated and boosted individuals may experience symptoms earlier in the disease course than those who have not been vaccinated, since their immune system more rapidly recognizes and responds to the viral attack. As a result, immunized individuals may begin experiencing symptoms earlier, before their viral load reaches its peak. The same group may also get better before the virus completely clears their system, the team said.

    Source : www.uchicagomedicine.org

    How Long Are You Contagious With COVID? Here’s What We Know – NBC Chicago

    When are people with COVID most contagious and how long can they spread it? When should you get tested after exposure and how long should you quarantine, if at...

    When are people with COVID most contagious and how long can they spread it? When should you get tested after exposure and how long should you quarantine, if at all?

    The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shifted the timing for isolation and quarantine as some experts say the time frame when people are most contagious is earlier.

    "As we've seen these new variants develop - delta, now omicron - what we're seeing is everything gets sped up from a COVID perspective," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Thursday. "It is taking less time from when someone is exposed to COVID to potentially develop infection. It is taking less time to develop symptoms, it is taking less time that someone may be infectious and it is, for many people, taking less time to recover. A lot of that is because many more people are vaccinated."

    Here's what we know.

    Stay informed during the severe weather season with our local news and weather app. Get the NBC 5 Chicago app for iOS or Android and pick your alerts.

    When Are People with COVID Most Contagious?

    The CDC says that its guidelines were updated to reflect growing evidence that suggests transmission of COVID-19 often occurs one to two days before the onset of symptoms and during the two to three days after.

    "This has to do with data from the CDC that really showed after seven days there's virtually no risk of transmission at this point," Arwady said. "And in that five-to-seven-day window, you know, there's some depending on whether people have been vaccinated underlying conditions, etc., but the risk drops a lot and the feeling is that in the general population, combined with masking, etc. the risk really is very low."

    For those without symptoms, CDC guidance states they are considered contagious at least two days before their positive test.

    When is the Best Time to Get Tested After Exposure?

    The CDC states that anyone who may have been exposed to someone with COVID should test five days after their exposure, or as soon as symptoms occur.

    "If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19," the guidance states.

    Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said that incubation times could be changing, but those who test early should continue testing even if they get negative results.

    "We might be learning that the time of incubation might be a little shorter. So maybe you'd be testing at two days," Ezike said. "Obviously if you're symptomatic, you test right away. But you know, if you want to test at two days, but that negative test... the two days should not make you think, 'oh good, I'm clear.' You know, you might want to test again and of course symptoms can you cannot ignore - scratchy throat, headaches, all kinds of symptoms - anything new can be a symptom of this new illness."

    How Soon Might Symptoms Appear?

    According to earlier CDC guidance, COVID symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after someone is exposed to the virus.

    Anyone exhibiting symptoms should get tested for COVID-19.

    How Long Should you Quarantine or Isolate?

    First things first, those who believe they have been in contact with someone who has COVID and are unvaccinated should quarantine. Those who test positive, regardless of vaccination status, must isolate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Here's the breakdown:


    Those who have been within 6 feet of someone with COVID for a cumulative total of at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period should quarantine for five days if unvaccinated or more than six months out from their second dose, according to updated CDC guidance issued Monday.

    Once that period ends, they should partake in strict mask use for an additional five days.

    Previously, the CDC said people who were not fully vaccinated and who came in close contact with an infected person should stay home for at least 10 days.

    Prior to Monday, people who were fully vaccinated — which the CDC has defined as having two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — could be exempt from quarantine.

    Those who are both fully vaccinated and boosted do not need to quarantine if they are a close contact of someone with COVID, but should wear a mask for at least 10 days after exposure. The same goes for those who are fully vaccinated and not yet eligible for their booster shot.

    Local health authorities can also make the final determination about how long a quarantine should last, however. And testing can play a role.

    Illinois' health department said it will adopt the CDC revised guidelines on isolation and quarantine for COVID.

    In Chicago, those who travel to or from certain parts of the country and are unvaccinated must quarantine upon arrival to the city, but the length of time they should do so for depends on whether they get tested for COVID.

    The city has not yet said if the new CDC guidance will change its travel advisory guidelines.

    As of Tuesday, the city's travel advisory recommends those who travel from designated warning states must:

    Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days.

    Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.

    Source : www.nbcchicago.com

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