Expert explains what it means if you’re COVID-19 positive after 10 days

COVID-19 Test
Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 1:42 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A medical expert says you need to remain cautious if you continue to get a positive COVID-19 result even after you’ve isolated for five days.

According to the CDC, “people with COVID-19 should isolate for five days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by five days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter.”

“The fact that you feel OK does not mean you are not contagious. You could still pass it on to others, even if you don’t have symptoms at all,” Doctor Taison Bell with UVA Health said. “I do think it’s a good idea, especially if you’re going to try to stop isolation at day five, I think it’s a good idea to get a rapid test. If that rapid test is positive, that is a good indication that you can still be infectious.”

Once you hit day 10 after you’ve been infected and do not have symptoms, Dr. Bell says you are most likely not contagious.

“I think for the vast majority of people once you hit day 10, I’d be comfortable with folks going back to work or back into society, again, with a high-quality mask regardless of what the test results show at that time,” the doctor said.

Bell still recommends getting a rapid test before heading back into the office.

“Many people, and myself included, would suggest getting a test at that point, before going back into the work environment or wherever you’re going. The CDC will say that you don’t necessarily have to test. If that test is negative, you finish the rest of that 10 day period with a high-quality mask. If it’s positive, you continue to test until you’re negative,” Bell said.

If you can’t find a rapid test 10 days after testing positive, Bell has this advice for you: “I would say at that 10 day mark, I don’t think there’s much utility to continue to test as long as your symptoms are better, you don’t have a fever and you’re wearing a high-quality mask. That’s what’s really important,” he said.

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