Bay Area health experts suggest new protocols for those with COVID this summer

ByLeslie Brinkley KGO logo
Wednesday, July 10, 2024
Health experts suggest new protocols for those with COVID this summer
COVID-19 cases are on the rise across the Bay Area this summer. ABC7 News got advice from the experts on new protocols to follow if you get sick.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- COVID-19 cases are on the rise across the Bay Area, but there are few formal guidelines for what to do if you or someone you know tests positive this summer.

It's likely you know a co-worker or family member or friend who is sick this summer, and you wonder - do they have COVID-19?

Dr Sofe' Mekuria is the public health medical director for the Contra Costa County Health Dept. She says, "Summer is just the time when people travel a lot, they're going out more, seeing more people, they're going on vacation so more time to potentially be exposed to COVID-19, particularly as we are seeing an increase in cases."

MORE: As COVID cases rise across Bay Area, doctors share ways to avoid new FLiRT variant

So, where to start if you have cold or flu like symptoms?

First of all, throw out expired home test kits - you can't trust the results. With a new kit, if you test positive, you ARE positive.

Dr. John Swartzberg with the UC Berkeley School of Public Health says, "If you've got a negative home test but you've got signs and symptoms of COVID, you've got to assume that could be falsely negative - and repeat it the next day and the next day and the next day."

Dr. Mekuria advises, "If you're positive for COVID, do stay home 'til you're feeling better and your fever is resolved for at least 24 hours."

MORE: As COVID-19 cases tick up in some places, US health officials recommend a fall vaccination campaign

There are no clearly defined rules anymore but doctors do have suggestions.

Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, a UCSF infectious disease specialist says, "You don't have to isolate for five days anymore but going out into the world doesn't mean being normal. You're wearing a mask in risky areas. I think wearing a mask for five days is reasonable."

Even wearing a mask among loved ones at home. As for those serious about dodging COVID this summer?

Dr. Chin-Hong says, "You're going to a wedding? In those trips where you're surrounded by noses and mouths it really would make sense to protect yourself. Particularly if someone on the plane next to you is coughing and is symptomatic - carry that mask around and put it on when you feel vulnerable."

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