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5 Easy Ways to Know If You've Been Exposed to Coronavirus

Here’s how to know if you may have come into contact with the virus.
Woman with face protective mask looking at phone.

Seeing as though a good number of people don't experience a single symptom of COVID-19, many cases go undetected. Unfortunately, this is one of the main reasons why the virus spreads so rampantly through communities. However, even if you never experience a cough, fever, shortness of breath, or loss of sense of taste or smell, there are a few easy ways that you can determine whether or not you have been exposed to the virus. That way, you can be proactive about your health and the health of others and either get tested, quarantine, or simply be a little more cautious about following the recommended prevention fundamentals. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

1

If You Have Gone to a Bar

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During a recent virtual Q&A on the future of health care at Milken Institute with Norah O'Donnell of ABC News, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, reminded that bars are incredibly risky when it comes to COVID-19, as you are exposing yourself to lots of people. "Those are the things that we know so well, the congregating in crowded places with no masks such as in bars, and parties that are indoor with no good ventilation, those are the things that drive it," he revealed. 

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2

If You Have Entertained Indoors

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Even if you aren't going out in public without a mask, exposure is even more common in the comfort of your own home. "In addition, what we're seeing now, which was a bit unexpected, but true is that even modest size gatherings of family and friends in a home with obviously the indoor constraints of not getting good ventilation, we're starting to see infections that are reemerging from what otherwise seemed like benign settings, namely, a typical gathering of 10 or so people in a social setting," he revealed during the same interview. This is incredibly crucial during the holidays, as larger gatherings are part of tradition. 

3

If You've Had Out of Town Guests

Family with two children going on holiday, wearing face masks at the airport.
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In addition to family gatherings, if you are hosting out of town guests, you should probably assume you are exposed to the virus — especially if they were traveling via public transportation. "Hopefully they may have been tested, so you know that very recently there were negative, or they have their own bubble where they're very, very careful in themselves protecting themselves so that when you get together is much less of a risk in someone who just gets from an airport or a train station, gets in an Uber, but comes to your house, sits down," he explained. "You have no idea who they were exposed to."

4

If You Had "Close Contact" with Someone Who Tests Positive

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The CDC urges anyone who hasn't tested positive for COVID-19 within the last three months to quarantine for 14 days if they come into "close contact" with someone who later tests positive. They define this as being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more, providing care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19, having direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them), sharing eating or drinking utensils, or being on the receiving end of their sneezes, coughs, or respiratory droplets. 

5

You Experience Any Symptoms

Sick woman with fever checking her temperature with a thermometer at home
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If you start to feel sick — even if it is just a runny nose and slight cough — it could be COVID-19. While the most common symptoms are fever, shortness of breath, dry cough, and loss of sense of smell or taste — there are a slew of other manifestations of the virus that people are experiencing. If you are feeling a little under the weather, don't brush it off as a common cold or allergies and expose others. Get tested immediately or quarantine to avoid potentially propagating the spread. 

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6

How to Avoid COVID-19

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As for yourself, follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, until he says not to, vaccine or no vaccine—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.