Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I feel ill or suspect I have been exposed to COVID-19?
Anyone experiencing symptoms should call the COVID-19 hotline (207) 447-4190 to be evaluated by an MRH provider. This designated hotline is open Monday through Friday, 8AM – 5PM, to answer questions as well as coordinate testing and treatment.
Do not present to the emergency room or doctor’s office unless experiencing severe symptoms such as: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake or bluish lips or face
How long does it take for symptoms to present?
It can take anywhere for 2-14 days for symptoms to appear after exposure.
Am I contagious even if I don’t have symptoms?
It is possible to be infected with COVID-19 and spread it to others without experiencing symptoms yourself.
No matter what, if you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should self-quarantine for the entire 14-day incubation period. Even if you feel fine, you’re still at risk of spreading the coronavirus to others.
Research has shown that high levels of the virus are present in respiratory secretions during the “presymptomatic” period that can last days to more than a week prior to the fever and cough characteristic of COVID-19.
This ability of the virus to be transmitted by people without symptoms is a major reason for the pandemic.
What should I do if someone in my home, or someone I have close contact with, has COVID-19?
Household members, intimate partners, and caregivers in a non-healthcare setting who have close contact* with a person with symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or a person under investigation should monitor their health and they should call their healthcare provider right away if they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath).
*Close contact is defined as “being within approximately 6 feet of a COVID-19 person for a prolonged time.” Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case or close contact is also having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).
What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?
According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, isolation and quarantine are public health practices used to protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.
- Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
- Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms.
When can I discontinue isolation?
Patients with COVID-19 (whether confirmed or suspected) should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low. The minimum time period is 10 days, and 3 days must then have passed where there is NO fever without the use of fever lowering medications, and other symptoms are improving such as cough and shortness of breath.
If you have tested positive but have been symptom free, the isolation from others should be for a minimum of 10 days since you received a positive test.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control, US Department of Health & Human Services