As you probably know, there are currently more than 600,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and an unknown number of Americans who have this illness who have not been diagnosed. While all non-essential workers are self-isolating at this time, those who have COVID-19 are taking even stricter measures to ensure they prevent transmitting this illness to others. But what does life look like after recovery, and how should you integrate back into life after quarantine?
If You Have Been Diagnosed With COVID-19
For people who have been tested and diagnosed with this virus, there is a clear set of guidelines from health officials for being considered recovered. If you have been symptom-free for three days — without the use of fever-reducing medication — and it’s been more than seven days after initial symptoms appeared, you are generally considered recovered.
For those who can be tested again, the CDC recommends considering a patient fully recovered if the above criteria are met and they have two negative COVID-19 tests in a row, 24 hours apart.
Because almost everyone is currently self-isolating, “re-integrating” back into life still means staying at home, however. Being recovered, though, does mean you can make a trip to the grocery store and to get other essential supplies. The CDC advises wearing a mask in public whenever possible, even for healthy individuals.
If You Have Symptoms but Have Not Been Tested
Because the symptoms of COVID-19 can be mild for some individuals, it’s difficult to know the exact number of affected people in total. This virus is very contagious, so it’s smart to consider yourself affected even if you do not have access to a test. Just like those who are officially diagnosed, you can consider yourself recovered if you meet these guidelines from the CDC:
- Three full days without fever and without the use of fever-reducing medication
- Other symptom improvement, for example, a cough going away
- Seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared