12/28/20 | 4:25 pm | Updated Information on COVID 19 Testing & Control in the Setting of High-Risk COVID-19 Exposures
Testing is an important COVID-19 control measure, but the best measure is to stay home if you are sick!
- In the setting of a high-risk exposure to COVID-19, testing is performed when symptoms develop.
- For the individual who remains asymptomatic after a high-risk exposure, we offer testing after the high-risk exposure. Evidence demonstrates that testing too early has a high likelihood of providing a false negative result because the viral load is not yet high enough to convert the test positive.
- Waiting for symptoms to develop is the most effective method of diagnosing COVID-19 because clinical sensitivity of the test is best after the onset of symptoms.
- If a non-healthcare worker has a high-risk exposure, the individual or family should quarantine for 10 days from the day of the known exposure if asymptomatic and 7 days with a negative COVID-19 test and asymptomatic. Individuals then must continue to symptom monitor up until the 14 days.
- If a healthcare worker has a high-risk exposure, the individual should undergo supervised temperature and symptom monitoring for 14 days.
- Examples of high-risk exposures:
- living with a COVID-19 positive person
- being exposed, without masks, to a COVID + individual in close contact (within 6 feet) in a closed environment for more than 15 minutes
- Risky behaviors including going to bars, restaurants, amusement parks, large family functions (especially when indoor) where social distancing and masking is not observed
- If you think you need a test call 210 450-8000
- Testing after COVID-19 has resolved (10 days after the first symptom and 72 hours symptom-free without use of fever-reducing medication) is NOT RECOMMENDED. The COVID-19 molecular tests detects RNA fragments, not viable virus and the COVID-19 test may remain positive long after the virus is dead in the human body.
Contact Tracing on-campus
- UT Health Department of Environmental Health and Safety and the School of Nursing Hotline staff will continue on-campus contact tracing following protocols established by the COVID-19 Infectious Disease Team and the Response team.
- Prevention methods include:
- Masking always when engaging with anyone who does not live in your home
- Social Distancing – standing or sitting at least six feet from others
- Reducing trips to public places like markets and grocery stores when possible
- Cleaning hands frequently, including after touching surfaces, and before and after eating