How do I know if I am close contact?

At the gates of the Christmas holidays, Coronavirus infections do not stop growing in Spain, which has been at the highest risk of transmission since last Friday. In the last week, more than 115,000 infections have been reported and it is expected that the number of positives with COVID-19 will continue to increase over the next few days until reaching even numbers of infections from previous waves, although with much less incidence in the number of hospitalized and deceased due to high vaccination rates.

With Christmas Eve dinner already in sight, The questions come back about what to do if I have symptoms, what exactly it means to be a close contact, or when I am forced to quarantine. Ultimately, what should I do to protect myself and my loved ones. We retrieve the latest Health update in this regard -Strategy for early detection, surveillance and control of COVID-19- and we explain the most frequent doubts.

How do I act if I have symptoms of coronavirus?

Being vaccinated or having had the disease before does not prevent me from getting infected. In case of having symptoms compatible with the disease, I must act as if it were a confirmed positive, isolate myself until the coronavirus is ruled out and contact my health center to evaluate if I have a PCR.

The most common symptoms include fever, cough, and feeling short of breath. In some cases, smell and taste may disappear and you may feel generally unwell.

If I have a pharmacy-bought antigen test, I can do the self-test, since in symptomatic cases its reliability is greater.

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What do I do if I test positive for a pharmacy?

In case you bought an antigen test at a pharmacy and it tested positive, I must start an isolation, wear a FPP2 mask, and contact my health center immediately to communicate the test result to my GP.

According to the Health protocol, the Isolation should last a minimum of 10 days from the onset of symptoms or the positive result of the test if it is asymptomatic.

Also, it is likely that my partners may be infected by being close contacts, and also some people with whom I have recently spent time in the last two days. I must contact those people and warn them of my positive.

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How do I know if I am close contact?

According to the Ministry of Health and the Carlos III Health Institute, close contact is considered to be any person who have been in the same space that a infected, to a distance less than 2 meters, and for a total accumulated time of more than 15 minutes in 24 hours.

Likewise, it is also classified as close contact to anyone who has “provided care” to a positive case or has been in contact with an infected person without adequate protection measures, or a person who has handled biological samples without “protection measures”.

The period taken into account to identify a close contact It will be from two days before the onset of symptoms of the case until the moment in which the case is isolated. In asymptomatic patients confirmed by diagnostic test, the contacts will be sought from two days before the date of sampling for diagnosis.

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Do I have to quarantine if I am in contact with a positive?

In order to know if it is necessary to quarantine in case of having a close contact of a positive, different factors must be taken into account, such as whether or not one is vaccinated, the autonomous community in which the contact resides or the variant causing the positive contact. .

In case of not being vaccinated, a mandatory 10-day quarantine must be kept in all cases.

If I am vaccinated with the complete regimen, according to the Health protocol, I am exempt from quarantine, except if I reside in Catalonia, the only autonomous community that has approved that as of December 23, close contacts of positives must quarantine regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not.

In addition, and in general throughout Spain, if it is confirmed that the is affected by omicron, beta or gamma variants, must be saved 10-day quarantine regardless whether you are vaccinated or not.

How do I act if I have no symptoms and I am not close or positive contact?

You can continue with your normal life, as long as you continue to apply the protection and self-care measures recommended by Health. In a situation like the current high transmissibility avoid crowded spaces, wear a mask outdoors and indoors and make sure that the mask is well fitted.

Perform frequent hand hygiene and when coughing or sneezing cover your mouth and nose with your elbow flexed. Prioritize meetings in open spaces and if you meet people in a closed space, ventilate the room frequently.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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