JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Now that more people in Duval County are getting tested for the novel coronavirus, the Duval County health department said that has led to confusion about when to start self-quarantining.
And that confusion can lead to the further spread of the virus, health officials said.
When COVID-19 testing first started, there was no confusion over when to self-isolate because the tests were only performed on people who had symptoms.
But now that everyone is being tested, the start of self-isolation varies.
When it comes to COVID-19 testing, the Duval County Health Department said there are two types of people being tested: Those who have symptoms of the virus who need to quarantine at home until they get their test results confirmed and those who think they have been exposed but are not experiencing symptoms.
Tawanda Washington is the Assistant Director of Nursing for the Duval County Health Dept.
She said people with COVID-19 symptoms should start their 14-day quarantine the moment they notice the symptoms. But those without symptoms who believe they may have come into contact with an infected person should start their quarantine the day they take their test.
“That would be optimal, to be able to quarantine yourself until you get your results back, because if you’re positive, your return to normal activities would be at least 10 days from the date of your test. Not the day of your results but the day of your test,” Washington said.
But because those people without symptoms can’t always get time off from work until their test results come back, Washington said it’s still their responsibility to take precautions.
“Wear a face mask at all times. Social distance,” Washington said.
Washington also said that if you have been around someone who is infected and decide to immediately get tested, there is a good chance the results will come back negative because the virus needs to be in your body for several days before it can be detected. And it takes several days before symptoms are noticeable.
The health department said another emerging problem they are dealing with when it comes to COVID-19 is getting their message about testing out to the Hispanic community.
While they don’t have to worry about language barriers, they are worried about people who refuse to get tested because they’re undocumented immigrants.
The health department wants to assure everyone they will not be singled out.
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