How Long Are You Contagious With COVID? Here's What We Know

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2022-02-18

When are people with COVID most contagious and how long can they spread it? When should you get tested after exposure and how long should you quarantine, if at all?

When are people with COVID most contagious and how long can they spread it? When should you get tested after exposure and how long should you quarantine, if at all?

The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shifted the timing for isolation and quarantine as some experts say the time frame when people are most contagious is earlier.

"As we've seen these new variants develop - delta, now omicron - what we're seeing is everything gets sped up from a COVID perspective," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Thursday. "It is taking less time from when someone is exposed to COVID to potentially develop infection. It is taking less time to develop symptoms, it is taking less time that someone may be infectious and it is, for many people, taking less time to recover. A lot of that is because many more people are vaccinated."

Here's what we know.

The CDC says that its guidelines were updated to reflect growing evidence that suggests transmission of COVID-19 often occurs one to two days before the onset of symptoms and during the two to three days after. 

"This has to do with data from the CDC that really showed after seven days there's virtually no risk of transmission at this point," Arwady said. "And in that five-to-seven-day window, you know, there's some depending on whether people have been vaccinated underlying conditions, etc., but the risk drops a lot and the feeling is that in the general population, combined with masking, etc. the risk really is very low."

For those without symptoms, CDC guidance states they are considered contagious at least two days before their positive test.

The CDC states that anyone who may have been exposed to someone with COVID should test five days after their exposure, or as soon as symptoms occur.

"If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19," the guidance states.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said that incubation times could be changing, but those who test early should continue testing even if they get negative results.

"We might be learning that the time of incubation might be a little shorter. So maybe you'd be testing at two days," Ezike said. "Obviously if you're symptomatic, you test right away. But you know, if you want to test at two days, but that negative test... the two days should not make you think, 'oh good, I'm clear.' You know, you might want to test again and of course symptoms can you cannot ignore - scratchy throat, headaches, all kinds of symptoms - anything new can be a symptom of this new illness."

According to earlier CDC guidance, COVID symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after someone is exposed to the virus.

Anyone exhibiting symptoms should get tested for COVID-19.

First things first, those who believe they have been in contact with someone who has COVID and are unvaccinated should quarantine. Those who test positive, regardless of vaccination status, must isolate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here's the breakdown:

Quarantine

Those who have been within 6 feet of someone with COVID for a cumulative total of at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period should quarantine for five days if unvaccinated or more than six months out from their second dose, according to updated CDC guidance issued Monday.

Once that period ends, they should partake in strict mask use for an additional five days.

Previously, the CDC said people who were not fully vaccinated and who came in close contact with an infected person should stay home for at least 10 days.

Prior to Monday, people who were fully vaccinated — which the CDC has defined as having two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — could be exempt from quarantine.

Those who are both fully vaccinated and boosted do not need to quarantine if they are a close contact of someone with COVID, but should wear a mask for at least 10 days after exposure. The same goes for those who are fully vaccinated and not yet eligible for their booster shot.

Local health authorities can also make the final determination about how long a quarantine should last, however. And testing can play a role.

Illinois' health department said it will adopt the CDC revised guidelines on isolation and quarantine for COVID.

In Chicago, those who travel to or from certain parts of the country and are unvaccinated must quarantine upon arrival to the city, but the length of time they should do so for depends on whether they get tested for COVID.

The city has not yet said if the new CDC guidance will change its travel advisory guidelines.

As of Tuesday, the city's travel advisory recommends those who travel from designated warning states must:

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days.
  • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.

"Due to the risk of severe illness and congregate transmission, IDPH recommends the full 14-day quarantine period rather than the shortened options described above in congregate living settings with vulnerable populations, such as skilled care and correctional facilities," the Illinois Department of Public Health states on its website.

Isolation

People who are positive for COVID should stay home for five days, the CDC said Monday, changing guidance from the previously recommended 10 days.

At the end of the period, if you have no symptoms, you can return to normal activities but must wear a mask everywhere — even at home around others — for at least five more days.

If you still have symptoms after isolating for five days, stay home until you feel better and then start your five days of wearing a mask at all times.

So how do you calculate your isolation period?

According to the CDC, "day 0 is your first day of symptoms." That means that Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed.

For those who test positive for COVID but have no symptoms, day 0 is the day of the positive test. Those who develop symptoms after testing positive must start their calculations over, however, with day 0 then becoming the first day of symptoms.

The CDC urges those who have or may have COVID-19 to watch for emergency warning signs and seek medical care immediately if they experience symptoms including:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

"This list is not all possible symptoms," the CDC states. "Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you."

You can also notify the operator that you believe you or someone you are caring for has COVID.

Those who test positive using an at-home test are asked to follow the latest CDC guidelines and communicate the results to their healthcare provider, who is responsible for reporting test results to the state health department.

According to Chicago-area health departments, people should assume the test results are accurate and should isolate from others to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

"If you test positive for COVID-19, you must isolate," Arwady said. "There is no need to repeat a positive at-home test in a medical setting. We don't want people going into the emergency department just to get a tested. Treat a positive as a positive, stay home and isolate for five days."

If you had symptoms, the CDC says you can be around others after you isolate five days and stop exhibiting symptoms. However, you should continue to wear masks for five days to minimize the risk to others.

How Soon Could COVID Symptoms Start, And How Long Are You …

22-05-2022 · 18 hours ago · COVID cases are continuing to rise across the country, including in Illinois and Cook County. As of the latest update, eight counties in Illinois were listed under "high" COVID transmission risk ...

22-05-2022

COVID cases are continuing to rise across the country, including in Illinois and Cook County.

As of the latest update, eight counties in Illinois were listed under "high" COVID transmission risk, and 39 counties were listed as "medium." And last week, Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner, said during a Facebook Live that Chicago is currently averaging nearly 1,200 positive COVID cases each day -- and that's not including those who receive a positive at-home test.

"[Cases are] up 27% from a week ago," Arwady said. "You can see our positivity is up to 6.2% and continuing to rise. So that's why I'm guessing most of you know somebody who's had COVID pretty recently, or even as it now. There's a lot of COVID around."

Still, officials say that hospitalization metrics have not seen similar climbs.

So if you do test positive for the coronavirus or were exposed to someone who has, when could symptoms start, how long are you contagious, how long should you quarantine for and when should you get tested?

Here's a look at the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on what to do if you test positive or believe you were exposed to someone who has.

According to the CDC, COVID symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after someone is exposed to the virus.

But guidelines state those who were exposed should watch for symptoms until at least 10 days after the last close contact with someone who had COVID.

Anyone with symptoms should get tested.

As BA.2 cases continue their dominance across the Midwest and U.S., here's a look at the latest symptoms to watch for.

Regardless of symptoms or vaccinations, those who are exposed to someone with coronavirus should get tested at least five days after their exposure.

Those who develop symptoms should get tested as symptoms develop, but if a test is negative and symptoms persist another test might be needed a few days later, particularly for those who use at-home test kits.

"So if someone is having symptoms and they get a negative test, one, it depends on the severity right? If you're having severe symptoms we don't want you to just do a home test either," Dr. Nimmi Rajagopal, the associate chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine for Cook County Health, told NBC 5 during the omicron surge late last year. "We want you to call your doctor's office and make sure that they have an opinion here because there are of course other things like the flu that are out there that can mimic symptoms or have similar symptoms. But if you're having symptoms and they're kind of mild and lingering and you use the [at-home] test and it's negative, we want you to take the precautions and then retest in three to five days. And that's why most of these kits actually come with two tests."

There are two types of viral tests that will tell you if you are infected with COVID: A laboratory test, more commonly referred to as a PCR test, which takes 1-3 days to deliver results, and a rapid test, which can include at-home COVID tests, and often delivers results in 15 minutes or less.

According to the CDC, PCR tests are reliable for people both with and without COVID symptoms. No follow-up tests are required. A PCR test is usually done by making an appointment with a pharmacy, your health care provider or in a community health clinic, and samples can either be in the form of a nasal swab or saliva.

Rapid, or antigen, tests on the other hand, are more commonly referred to as at-home COVID tests. Since results may be less reliable for people without symptoms, an additional or follow-up test may be required, the CDC says.

Samples for a rapid test are usually taken by nasal swab.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some people who contract COVID-19 can have detectable virus for up to three months.

And while a PCR test is more likely to continue picking up the virus following infection, that doesn't mean a positive test is synonymous with being contagious.

"PCR test can stay positive for a long time," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in March.

"Those PCR tests are very sensitive," she added. "They keep picking up dead virus in your nose for sometimes for weeks, but you can't grow that virus in the lab. You can't spread it, but it can be positive."

The CDC notes that tests "are best used early in the course of illness to diagnose COVID-19 and are not authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to evaluate duration of infectiousness."

For those isolating due to a COVID infection, there is no testing requirement to end isolation, however, the CDC recommends using a rapid antigen test for those who choose to take one.

Arwady said that guidance is likely related to determining whether or not someone has an "active" virus.

"If you did want to get a test on please don't get a PCR. Use a rapid antigen test," she said. "Why? Because the rapid antigen test is the one that will look to see...do you have a high enough COVID level that you are potentially infectious? Now, a PCR test, remember, can pick up up sort of traces of the virus for a long time, even if that virus is bad and even if it's not potentially transmitting."

"A person with COVID-19 is considered infectious starting two days before they develop symptoms, or two days before the date of their positive test if they do not have symptoms," according to the CDC.

Regardless of symptoms, those who test positive are advised to take specific precautions for at least 10 days.

"Lets say somebody is diagnosed with COVID and they are in a setting during a time that they might be infectious, we know that with COVID, for the first five days you need to be isolated because you can definitely be spreading COVID at that point," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said during a recent Facebook Live

First, you'll need to know the difference between whether you must quarantine or isolate. Those who believe they have been in contact with someone who has COVID and are unvaccinated should quarantine. Those who test positive, regardless of vaccination status, must isolate, according to the CDC.

Close contact is defined by the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health as "someone who was less than 6 feet away from an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period."

Here's the breakdown:

Quarantine

If you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, you should quarantine if you are not up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines or are unvaccinated. For these individuals, the CDC and IDPH recommend you:

  • Stay home and away from other people for at least 5 days (day 0 through day 5) after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. The date of your exposure is considered day 0. Wear a well-fitting mask when around others at home, if possible.
  • For 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19, watch for fever (100.4◦F or greater), cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If you develop symptoms, get tested immediately and isolate until you receive your test results. If you test positive, follow isolation recommendations.
  • If you do not develop symptoms, get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
    • If you test negative, you can leave your home, but continue to wear a well-fitting mask when around others at home and in public until 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19.
    • If you test positive, you should isolate for at least 5 days from the date of your positive test (if you do not have symptoms). If you do develop COVID-19 symptoms, isolate for at least 5 days from the date your symptoms began (the date the symptoms started is day 0). Follow recommendations in the isolation section below.
    • If you are unable to get a test 5 days after last close contact with someone with COVID-19, you can leave your home after day 5 if you have been without COVID-19 symptoms throughout the 5-day period. Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days after your date of last close contact when around others at home and in public.
    • Avoid people who are have weakened immune systems or are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, and nursing homes and other high-risk settings, until after at least 10 days.
  • If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19, as well as others outside your home throughout the full 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19.
  • If you are unable to quarantine, you should wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days when around others at home and in public.
  • If you are unable to wear a mask when around others, you should continue to quarantine for 10 days. Avoid people who have weakened immune systems or are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, and nursing homes and other high-risk settings, until after at least 10 days.
  • Do not travel during your 5-day quarantine period. Get tested at least 5 days after your last close contact and make sure your test result is negative and you remain without symptoms before traveling. If you don’t get tested, delay travel until 10 days after your last close contact with a person with COVID-19. If you must travel before the 10 days are completed, wear a well-fitting mask when you are around others for the entire duration of travel during the 10 days. If you are unable to wear a mask, you should not travel during the 10 days.
  • Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask, such as restaurants and some gyms, and avoid eating around others at home and at work until after 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19.

Those who are close contacts of someone with COVID but are up-to-date on their vaccinations or have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 90 days do not need to quarantine, but the CDC does recommend they wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days after their most recent exposure and get tested after at least five days.

Isolation

According to the CDC, people who are positive for COVID should stay home until it's safe for them to be around others, including even other members of their home.

Health officials recommend a "sick room" or area for those who are infected and a separate bathroom, if possible.

But isolation may not just be for those who test positive. The CDC also recommends those who have symptoms of COVID-19 and are awaiting test results or have not yet been tested isolate, "even if they do not know if they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19."

How do you end isolation?

  • You can end isolation after five full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation​).
  • If you continue to have fever or your other symptoms have not improved after 5 days of isolation, you should wait to end your isolation until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved. Continue to wear a well-fitting mask through day 10. Contact your healthcare provider if you have questions.
  • Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask, such as restaurants and some gyms, and avoid eating around others at home and at work until a full 10 days after your first day of symptoms.

So how do you calculate your isolation period?

According to the CDC, "day 0 is your first day of symptoms." That means that Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed.

For those who test positive for COVID but have no symptoms, day 0 is the day of the positive test. Those who develop symptoms after testing positive must start their calculations over, however, with day 0 then becoming the first day of symptoms.

Under the CDC guidance, those in isolation should:

  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.
  • Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
  • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask when you need to be around other people.

While testing out of isolation is not required, the CDC says those who choose to should use an antigen test and not a PCR test. These can be taken toward the end of the isolation period.

"Collect the test sample only if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved," the CDC states. "If your test result is positive, you should continue to isolate until day 10. If your test result is negative, you can end isolation, but continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public until day 10."

After quarantining for the appropriate amount of time, those who were exposed should continue to watch for symptoms until at least 10 days after their exposure. If symptoms develop, they should isolate immediately and get tested.

After ending isolation, the CDC recommends individuals continue wearing a mask through day 10, or continue isolating for a full 10 days if masking isn't an option. They also urged these individual to avoid anyone with a weakened immune system or those at higher risk of infection for the full 10 days.

The CDC urges those who have or may have COVID-19 to watch for emergency warning signs and seek medical care immediately if they experience symptoms including:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

"This list is not all possible symptoms," the CDC states. "Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you."

You can also notify the operator that you believe you or someone you are caring for has COVID.

Those who test positive using an at-home test are asked to follow the latest CDC guidelines and communicate the results to their healthcare provider.

Arwady has said that that process is not likely happening for every test, however.

"All of those negatives realistically are not being reported," Arwady said. "We're not counting, you know, it's a fiction that we've ever counted every COVID test."

How Long After COVID Exposure Could You Test Positive?

15-05-2022 · 1 day ago · As of Tuesday, the city's travel advisory recommends those who travel from designated warning states should: Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days. Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days. If your ...

15-05-2022

If you test positive for COVID, how long could that last?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some people who contract COVID-19 can have detectable virus for up to three months, but that doesn't mean they are contagious.

When it comes to testing, however, the PCR tests are more likely to continue picking up the virus following infection.

"PCR test can stay positive for a long time," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in March.

"Those PCR tests are very sensitive," she added. "They keep picking up dead virus in your nose for sometimes for weeks, but you can't grow that virus in the lab. You can't spread it but it can be positive."

The CDC notes that tests "are best used early in the course of illness to diagnose COVID-19 and are not authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to evaluate duration of infectiousness."

For those isolating due to a COVID infection, there is no testing requirement to end isolation, however, the CDC recommends using a rapid antigen test for those who choose to take one.

Arwady said that guidance is likely related to determining whether or not someone has an "active" virus.

"If you did want to get a test on please don't get a PCR. Use a rapid antigen test," she said. "Why? Because the rapid antigen test is the one that will look to see...do you have a high enough COVID level that you are potentially infectious? Now, a PCR test, remember, can pick up up sort of traces of the virus for a long time, even if that virus is bad and even if it's not potentially transmitting."

So what else do you need to know about testing for COVID?

According to the CDC, the incubation period for COVID is between two and 14 days, though the newest guidance from the agency suggests a quarantine of five days for those who are not boosted, but eligible or unvaccinated. Those looking to get tested after exposure should do so five days after the exposure or if they begin experiencing symptoms, the CDC recommends.

Those who are boosted and vaccinated, or those who are fully vaccinated and not yet eligible for a booster shot, do not need to quarantine, but should wear masks for 10 days and also get tested five days after the exposure, unless they are experiencing symptoms.

Still, for those who are vaccinated and boosted but are still looking to be cautious, Arwady said an additional test at seven days could help.

"If you're taking multiple at home tests, you know, the recommendation is five days later take a test. But if you have taken one at five and it's negative and you're feeling good, chances are very good that you're not going to have any more issues there," she said. "I think if you're being extra careful there, if you wanted to test again, you know, at seven even, sometimes people look at three to get an earlier sense of things. But if you're gonna do it once do it in five and I feel good about that."

Arwady said testing is likely not necessary after seven days following exposure for those who are vaccinated and boosted.

"If you had an exposure, you're vaccinated and boosted, I don't think that there is any need to be testing, frankly, past about seven days," she said. "If you want to be extra careful, you can do it at 10, but just with what we're seeing, I would consider you really in the clear. If you're not vaccinated or boosted, I certainly have a much higher concern that you could get infected. Definitely, ideally, you'd be seeking out that test at five and I would do it again, you know, at the seven, potentially at that 10."

The CDC states that anyone who may have been exposed to someone with COVID should test five days after their exposure, or as soon as symptoms occur.

"If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19," the guidance states.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said that incubation times could be changing, but those who test early should continue testing even if they get negative results.

"We might be learning that the time of incubation might be a little shorter. So maybe you'd be testing at two days," Ezike said. "Obviously if you're symptomatic, you test right away. But you know, if you want to test at two days, but that negative test... the two days should not make you think, 'Oh good, I'm clear,' you know? You might want to test again and of course symptoms you cannot ignore - scratchy throat, headaches, all kinds of symptoms - anything new can be a symptom of this new illness."

According to earlier CDC guidance, COVID symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after someone is exposed to the virus.

Anyone exhibiting symptoms should get tested for COVID-19.

Some people may never experience symptoms, though they can still spread the virus.

A person is also considered contagious before symptoms appear.

The CDC says that its guidelines were updated to reflect growing evidence that suggests transmission of COVID-19 often occurs one to two days before the onset of symptoms and during the two to three days afterward. 

"This has to do with data from the CDC that really showed after seven days there's virtually no risk of transmission at this point," Arwady said. "And in that five-to-seven-day window, you know, there's some depending on whether people have been vaccinated, underlying conditions, etc., but the risk drops a lot and the feeling is that in the general population, combined with masking, etc. the risk really is very low."

For those without symptoms, CDC guidance states they are considered contagious at least two days before their positive test.

First things first, those who believe they have been in contact with someone who has COVID and are unvaccinated should quarantine. Those who test positive, regardless of vaccination status, must isolate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here's the difference between the two:

Quarantine

Those who have been within six feet of someone with COVID for a cumulative total of at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period should quarantine for five days if unvaccinated, or if they are more than six months out from their second vaccine dose, according to updated CDC guidance issued Monday.

Once that period ends, they should partake in strict mask use for an additional five days.

Previously, the CDC said people who were not fully vaccinated and who came in close contact with an infected person should stay home for at least 10 days.

Prior to Monday, people who were fully vaccinated — which the CDC has defined as having two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — could be exempt from quarantine.

Those who are both fully vaccinated and boosted do not need to quarantine if they are a close contact of someone with COVID, but should wear a mask for at least 10 days after exposure. The same goes for those who are fully vaccinated and not yet eligible for their booster shot.

Local health authorities can also make the final determination about how long a quarantine should last, however, and testing can play a role.

Illinois' health department said it will adopt the CDC revised guidelines on isolation and quarantine for COVID.

In Chicago, those who travel to or from certain parts of the country and are unvaccinated must quarantine upon arrival to the city, but the length of time they should do so for depends on whether they get tested for COVID.

The city has not yet said if the new CDC guidance will change its travel advisory guidelines.

As of Tuesday, the city's travel advisory recommends those who travel from designated warning states should:

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days.
  • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.

Isolation

People who are positive for COVID should stay home for five days, the CDC said Monday, changing guidance from the previously recommended 10 days.

At the end of the period, if you have no symptoms, you can return to normal activities but must wear a mask everywhere — even at home around others — for at least five more days.

If you still have symptoms after isolating for five days, stay home until you feel better and then start your five days of wearing a mask at all times.

So how do you calculate your isolation period?

According to the CDC, "day 0 is your first day of symptoms." That means that Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed.

For those who test positive for COVID but have no symptoms, day 0 is the day of the positive test. Those who develop symptoms after testing positive must start their calculations over, however, with day 0 then becoming the first day of symptoms.

The CDC urges those who have or may have COVID-19 to watch for emergency warning signs and seek medical care immediately if they experience symptoms including:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

"This list is not all possible symptoms," the CDC states. "Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you."

You can also notify the operator that you believe you or someone you are caring for has COVID.

Those who test positive using an at-home test are asked to follow the latest CDC guidelines and communicate the results to their healthcare provider, who is responsible for reporting test results to the state health department.

According to Chicago-area health departments, people should assume the test results are accurate and should isolate from others to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

"If you test positive for COVID-19, you must isolate," Arwady said. "There is no need to repeat a positive at-home test in a medical setting. We don't want people going into the emergency department just to get a tested. Treat a positive as a positive, stay home and isolate for five days."

If you had symptoms, the CDC says you can be around others after you isolate five days and stop exhibiting symptoms. However, you should continue to wear masks for the five days following the end of symptoms to minimize the risk to others.

Pfizer vs. Moderna Vaccines: Does One Have More Side Effects?

29-04-2021 · According to Pfizer, about 3.8% of their clinical trial participants experienced fatigue as a side effect and 2% got a headache. Moderna says 9.7% of their participants felt fatigued and 4.5% got ...

29-04-2021

As many continue receiving their first or second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines currently available, what are the potential side effects and does one cause more side effects than the other?

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady was recently asked that very question.

There have also been reports of potential symptoms like "COVID arm" or changes in menstrual cycles.

Here's what we know so far about the two mRNA vaccines and their side effects:

Side effects are possible after receiving any COVID vaccine currently being administered in the U.S.

Experiencing side effects isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it's a sign your body is responding.

"That's just your immune system learning the lesson of how to fight it off," Chicago's top doctor said in a Facebook Live Tuesday. "So people who have stronger side effects, it's just a sign that you have a very robust strong immune system that's learning the lesson."

The CDC reports the most common side effects for the vaccines is at the injection site. They include:

Common side effects in the body include:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises people to stick around for 15 minutes after vaccination, and those with a history of other allergies for 30 minutes, so they can be monitored and treated immediately if they have a reaction.

Recent reports have brought to light some other unexpected, but so far not serious, side effects that could be related to the vaccines, experts say.

As more and more Americans receive their first or second doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccines every single day, some people who menstruate are reporting changes to their periods after getting vaccinated.

Dr. Kate Clancy, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, posted her experience on Twitter in February and received hundreds of reports from those experiencing what she pondered could be a little-publicized response to the two available mRNA vaccines.

Arwady was asked about the possibility of vaccinations impacting menstruation in a Facebook live broadcast last week.

"Two hundred and twenty million Americans have gotten a first dose of vaccine, right? So, among 220 million Americans, there are people who will have, you know a herpes outbreak, who will have a changed menstruation cycle, etc.," she said. "What has been interesting, I think, is that, that this has really raised some awareness for wanting to make sure that we're asking questions about things like changes in menstruation, right? Most vaccine trials, most trials in general actually, unless they're really focused on women's reproductive health, may not even ask questions like that and that perhaps points to some biases in terms of how, you know, trials in general for medications, etc. are set up."

"I have not seen anything, to be very clear, that suggests that there is any concerning side effects in the way that would last, I know and there's a local researcher who is looking at some of this related menstruation, but very clear there's not been any link to, you know, problems with fertility, you know, anything that's long-lasting but, you know, the goal of getting a vaccine is for your immune system to learn how to protect yourself against COVID and your immune system can interact, can interface with your, you know, your hormonal levels, etc. and so there is at least some biological plausibility that you could have, you know, some change in terms of a heavier period or a lighter period for example right after getting the vaccination," Arwady continued.

Health experts have noted that menstrual changes have been documented in recent months outside of vaccinations as well.

Dr. Whitney Lyn, a family medicine attendee for Cook County Health, acknowledged the possibility of changes post-vaccination, but also noted that stress can play a role in a woman's cycle.

"Women's menstrual cycle can, you know, always change month to month for various reasons," Lyn said. "And so one of the things that causes a woman's menstrual just to change is stress and so right now we're seeing a very stressful time. And so every time someone gets the vaccine, they're a little stressed out. So sometimes can that make your flow a little heavier or a little lighter? Yes. And so, I think it's a normal response, but I don't think it's a reason not to take the vaccine."

Even without contracting COVID or getting vaccinated, menstrual changes have been reported possibly stemming from the overall pandemic environment itself. A Washington Post report from August found that several gynecologists "confirmed that many of their patients are reporting skipped periods or have noticed increases or decreases in cycle length, blood volume and level of menstrual-related pain."

There have also been reports of what's known as "COVID arm," a term used to describe delayed skin reactions such as rashes, which appear days after injection.

"If it is going to arise, it usually appears about a week after your vaccine,” Dr. Brita Roy, an internal medicine physician and director of population health for Yale Medicine said. “It‘s a red, swollen area at the site of the shot."

The skin reactions gained attention when a letter was published in the New England Journal of Medicine earlier this month detailing some patients who experienced varying degrees of arm rashes following their first dose of the Moderna vaccine.

“It’s not super common, but it’s not uncommon. It’s a delayed hypersensitivity, similar to what you may see if you get poison ivy,” Roy said. “You maybe came into contact with the poison ivy in your yard, but some people won’t get a rash until a few days later.”

The CDC acknowledged reports "that some people have experienced a red, itchy, swollen, or painful rash where they got the shot," which it identified as "COVID arm."

According to the CDC, the rashes can start within a few days to more than a week after the first shot and "are sometimes quite large."

"If you experience 'COVID arm' after getting the first shot, you should still get the second shot at the recommended interval if the vaccine you got needs a second shot," the CDC noted. "Tell your vaccination provider that you experienced a rash or 'COVID arm' after the first shot. Your vaccination provider may recommend that you get the second shot in the opposite arm."

The CDC said those who experience COVID arm can take an antihistamine.

"If it is painful, you can take a pain medication like acetaminophen or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)," the CDC recommends.

According to Pfizer, about 3.8% of their clinical trial participants experienced fatigue as a side effect and 2% got a headache. 

Moderna says 9.7% of their participants felt fatigued and 4.5% got a headache.

But experts say data shows the two are similar and that side effects depend more on the person than shot itself.

"I would not try to make a decision between one, you know, between Moderna and Pfizer in particular, based on side effects," Arwady said Tuesday. "I think get the one that's available to you and do definitely get that second dose."

With the two-shot vaccines, people are more likely to report side effects after their second dose, experts have said.

According to the CDC, side effects after your second shot "may be more intense than the ones you experienced after your first shot." 

"These side effects are normal signs that your body is building protection and should go away within a few days," the CDC states.

In trials of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, more people experienced side effects after the second dose.

Arwady noted that a good indicator of whether you'll experience side effects after your second dose is how your body reacted to the first.

"The biggest predictor between first and second doses is what your own reaction was," she said. "So if you didn't have much of a reaction after the first dose, you're unlikely to have a big reaction after the second dose. We do see people having a little more side effects after the second dose than the first but usually not a huge, huge amount of difference."

She added that Johnson & Johnson's vaccine "does have a lower rate of the side effects in those first few days than the other two do."

But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't get your second shot if you get side effects after your first, experts say.

“When people receive that second dose, they are receiving the second booster to try and reach the maximum efficacy," said Dr. Edward Cachay, infectious disease specialist at UCSD. 

The CDC also noted that both shots are needed.

"The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine both need 2 shots in order to get the most protection," the CDC states. "You should get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it."

There are also some factors that could make you more likely to experience side effects.

Chicago's top doctor said Tuesday that the biggest predictor for side effects so far has been age.

"Older people, broadly, do not have as much side effects and that's because their immune systems are not quite as robust, generally, and so they don't mount as much of a immune response," Arwady said. "It doesn't mean that they're not protected."

According to Loafman, the body's immune system is what creates the symptoms.

"That's simply a reflection of the immune response, just the way we have when we get ill," he said.

Arwady also noted that women are more likely to report side effects than men.

"Some of this is because women may just be better reporters... but there probably is something real to this too because something else interesting for those who may not know as much about immunity is that autoimmune diseases? Much, more likely in women, too," Arwady said. "And even the, like, more serious like the allergic reactions, the more serious allergic reactions? More likely in women."

Why is that?

Arwady said estrogen can elevate immune responses, while testosterone can decrease it. At the same time, she noted that "a lot of your immune modulating genes" can live on an "x" chromosome, which women have two of while men have one.

"So there's all these reasons that sort of immunity in general goes up a little bit different in women than it does in men," she said. "And so we're seeing women, a little more likely to report some of the side effects."

Data from the CDC also reported women were more likely to experience side effects than men, according monitoring from the first month of vaccinations.

From Dec. 14 through Jan. 13, more than 79 percent of side effects were reported by women, the data showed. Meanwhile, women received roughly 61.2 percent of the doses administered during that same time.

Side effects could also vary depending on whether or not you've had coronavirus.

"We have seen more likely that people will report some side effects because that is acting a little bit like a booster dose to your immune system," Arwady said. "Your immune system has already learned some of those lessons of how to protect itself, not in as long a way not as protective a way."

"That is also probably that booster effect," Arwady said.

Loafman agrees.

"If you had COVID a while ago or you've already got some immunity, it's more like a booster," he said. "And boosters for some people are completely asymptomatic, boosters for other people trigger their immune response against it so they have some inflammation with it."

But not getting side effects isn't a negative, health experts say.

"If you don't get side effects it does not mean that you are not protected," Arwady said. "I want to be really clear about that."

According to Loafman, it simply means "your body didn't react with as much of an inflammatory response.

"You're still making antibodies," he said.

According to Loafman, every person's response is unique.

"It's really just kind of a reflection of how unique each of our systems are, what other immunities we have," he said. "You know, a lot of the antibodies cross react and we have cross reactivity so it's really a mosaic. Each of our immune systems is a mosaic composite of all that we've been through and all that we have and all we've recently been dealing with. Our individual response varies. Everybody gets the appropriate immune response."

Questions about vaccine effectiveness have been paired with a rise in spread of multiple COVID variants.

So far, studies suggest that the vaccines currently in use can recognize the emerging variants — but they may not provide as much protection against the new strains.

Pfizer's latest study results, however, suggested that the vaccine is effective against the coronavirus variant that first emerged in South Africa.

“These data also provide the first clinical results that a vaccine can effectively protect against currently circulating variants, a critical factor to reach herd immunity and end this pandemic for the global population," Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, said in a statement.

Moderna, citing data from its phase three clinic trial, reported its COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting against COVID and more than 95% effective against severe disease up to six months after the second dose, the company said.

But boosters and new versions of vaccines that target the variants are already being explored.

Pfizer-BioNTech is testing a third booster shot of its vaccine on fully vaccinated people. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said people will "likely" need a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine within 12 months of getting fully vaccinated.

"The flexibility of our proprietary mRNA vaccine platform allows us to technically develop booster vaccines within weeks, if needed," Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, said in a release.

Late last month, the National Institutes of Health started testing a new COVID vaccine from Moderna aimed at protecting against a variant first discovered in South Africa. Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC that the company hopes to have a booster shot for its two-dose vaccine available in the fall.

But what about without the variants?

In clinical trials, Moderna's vaccine reported 94.1% effectiveness at preventing COVID-19 in people who received both doses. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was said to be 95% effective.

A new CDC study reported that a single dose of Pfizer's or Moderna's COVID vaccine was 80% effective in preventing infections. That number jumped to 90% two weeks after the second dose, the study on vaccinated health care workers showed.

"These findings indicate that authorized mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are effective for preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection, regardless of symptom status, among working-age adults in real-world conditions," the U.S. agency wrote in the study. "COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all eligible persons."

It is not known if any of the vaccines prevent the spread of the virus by people who are asymptomatic.

Monica Hendrickson, public health administrator for the Peoria County Health Department noted that the vaccines each hold a high effectiveness against death and severe illness for coronavirus.

"So, really, you're looking at a distinction that from a clinical standpoint, or from, you know, an epidemiological standpoint is very minor compared to what we really are hoping for, which is decreases in death and decreases in severe illness, where they all match up between the three vaccines," Hendrickson said. "Most important thing though is that when these vaccines come on the market, if you have an option to any of these, get one of them."

Hendrickson's message echoes one made by Dr. Marina Del Rios, emergency medicine specialist at the University of Illinois-Chicago, during NBC 5's "Vaccinated State" panel.

“Part of my messaging in the community has been that the vaccines on the market are equally efficacious and equally safe," Del Rios said. "The best vaccine you can get is the one that you can get ahold of first, and getting vaccinated earlier, sooner rather than later, protects us from getting sick ourselves and also our community, which has been so terribly devastated by this virus.”

Reports: Trump Selling DC Hotel to Investment Firm for 5M

14-11-2021 · Reports: Trump Selling DC Hotel to Investment Firm for 5M CGI Merchant Group plans to rebrand the 263-room hotel as a Waldorf Astoria, according to The Wall Street …

14-11-2021

Donald Trump’s opulent hotel near the White House that drew lobbyists and diplomats seeking favor with the ex-president as well as criticism as a symbol of his ethics conflicts is being sold to a Miami investment group, according to published reports citing anonymous sources.

CGI Merchant Group agreed to pay the Trump Organization 5 million for the rights to the 263-room hotel and has plans to rebrand it as a Waldorf Astoria, according to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

Neither the Trump Organization nor CGI responded to numerous requests for comment.

The deal is expected to close early next year after which the hotel will be managed by the Waldorf Astoria under a separate deal struck by CGI, according to the Journal. The Waldorf Astoria business is owned by Hilton Worldwide Holdings.

The hotel has been a big money loser for the Trump family since it won rights to convert a stately federal building called the Old Post Office from the federal government under a lease that, with extensions, can run nearly 100 years.

The federal agency that owns the property, the U.S. General Services Administration, must sign off on any sale.

The Trump Organization poured 0 million to convert it into a luxury hotel, opening its doors in late 2016, shortly before Trump became president. It then proceeded to lose more than million over four years, according to audited reports obtained by a House committee investigating Trump’s conflicts of interest with the business. The losses came even before the pandemic led to shutdowns, hammering the hotel industry.

Ethics experts urged Trump to sell the hotel and other business holdings before he took office, but Trump refused and the hotel soon became a magnet for the powerful and power seeking: Lobbyists for industries trying to shape policy, Republican politicians looking for a presidential imprimatur, and diplomats from Azerbaijan, the Philippines, Kuwait and other countries.

Looming over all the din in his glittering lobby was the question: How much were decisions made by Trump a few blocks away in the Oval Office being shaped by his financial interests and, even if not at all, why risk tarnishing U.S. policy with even the appearance of conflict?

Trump dismissed such worries, saying he was too busy with the business of governing to bother with making money off his office. The Trump Organization promised to send a check to the U.S. Treasury each year equivalent to profits from foreign government patrons, a response to criticisms he was violating the emoluments clause in the U.S. Constitution forbidding foreign government gifts.

“The Trump hotel DC stood as a bright neon sign telling foreign countries and moneyed interests how to bribe the president and a stark reminder to Americans that his decisions as president were just as likely to be about his bottom line as about our interests,” said Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group. “Selling it now that he’s out of office and the grift dried up is, to say the least, too little, too late.”

The purchaser, CGI, manages 5 million from wealthy families, entertainers and sports figures, investing in office buildings and hotels among other kinds of property, according to its website. In addition, the firm partnered late last year with baseball star Alex Rodriguez and another investment firm to start a 0 million fund to buy hotels and convert them to Hilton brands.

CGI has also launched a chain of “socially conscious” hotels that donate to local charities, support local businesses and buy eco-friendly products. In September, it announced it would be opening a hotel in Miami with a glass-bottomed pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean called the Gabriel South Beach as part of its socially conscious offerings. The hotel will be part of the Curio Collection, a Hilton chain.

The head of the firm, Jamaican-born Raoul Thomas, has donated heavily to Democratic party politicians, including the Joe Biden’s campaign. He is a senior board member of National Association of Black Hotel Owners. His firm has invested million in Morris Brown College in Atlanta for a hotel and hospitality training program at the historically Black institution in Atlanta.

It’s not clear how much money the Trump family is making from the sale given that terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Sales of hotels sometimes include “earn outs” in which the seller is only handed all the money promised if the buyer hits certain financial goals in the years after the deal closes.

The Trump family was originally hoping to get 0 million for the hotel when it first put it on the market in the fall of 2019. It was pulled off the market, then put back on this year.

A few hotel experts were surprised by the reported deal price given how few businessmen, tourists and lobbyists are coming to Washington.

Bill Collins, an executive vice chair at commercial real estate broker Cushman Wakefield, said a price equivalent to

https://at2.codecombo.com/How-Long-Are-You-Contagious-With-COVID-Here-s-What-We+8f532368475_1200.jpg

million for each room is “top dollar” in the industry. By that rough valuation, the Trump hotel would be worth no more than 3 million, nearly 0 million less than it reportedly got.

“They put too much money into it and couldn’t drive up the occupancy,” he told the AP last month. “Can someone manage it better? Maybe, but only marginally.”

Angels' Shohei Ohtani Hits 100th Career Homer, Joins Exclusive Lists

13-05-2022 · Shohei Ohtani is the 2nd player in MLB history with at least 100 HR as a batter and 250 K as a pitcher, joining Babe Ruth. Ohtani joins Hideki Matsui and Ichiro Suzuki as the …

13-05-2022

Ohtani makes history vs. A's with 100th career MLB homer originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani came into the doubleheader against the Athletics on Saturday sitting on the doorstep of history, and in the nightcap at the Oakland Coliseum, the two-way player entered an exclusive club.

In the fifth inning, Ohtani connected for his 100th career MLB homer, a two-run shot that gave the Angels an 8-1 lead over the A's.

Ohtani now is just the second player in MLB history with at least 100 homers as a hitter and at least 250 strikeouts as a pitcher, joining all-time great Babe Ruth.

Shohei Ohtani is the 2nd player in MLB history with at least 100 HR as a batter and 250 K as a pitcher, joining Babe Ruth.

Ohtani joins Hideki Matsui and Ichiro Suzuki as the only players born in Japan to reach 100 MLB home runs. pic.twitter.com/dlfU8B3a90

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 15, 2022

The homer was Ohtani's seventh of the 2022 MLB season and he now has 24 RBI.

While Ohtani still is just 27 years old, it's highly unlikely he will come anywhere close to Ruth's 714 career homers, though he certainly will hit plenty more. As for strikeouts, Ruth recorded 488 as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox (483) and the New York Yankees (five). Ohtani already has 268 career strikeouts and will pass Ruth in that category at some point next season.

The reigning American League MVP is backing up his standout 2021 campaign with another strong start to this season and he has helped lead the Angels to an impressive 22-13 start entering the second game of the doubleheader in Oakland.

Shohei OhtaniMLBLos Angeles Angels
What is Diwali? What to Know About the Festival of Lights

19-04-2021 · According to the almanac, Diwali occurs on the darkest day of the lunar month, which is also the day of the new moon. This year, the new moon is on Nov. 4, though next …

19-04-2021

Millions of people across the world will gather together Thursday in the 2021 celebration of Diwali, the "Festival of Lights."

Illinois Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi called the festival a critical holiday that can allow Americans to “celebrate…the triumph of light over darkness” amid the ongoing COVID pandemic.

Here's what to know about this year's celebration:

According to Krishnamoorthi, Diwali is a “time for thanksgiving and prayer for health, knowledge and peace.”

The name Diwali comes from Sanskirt Deepavali, which means "row of lights," the Old Farmer's Almanac wrote. The five-day festival celebrates the triumph of light over dark and good over evil.

During the celebration, adherents light oil lamps and place them around their homes, praying for health, knowledge and peace.

In India, where the holiday originated, and other parts of the world, the festival lasts for five days, and takes place at the end of the last month of the Hindu lunar calendar.

According to the almanac, Diwali occurs on the darkest day of the lunar month, which is also the day of the new moon. This year, the new moon is on Nov. 4, though next year it will be on Oct. 24.

In India, where the holiday originated, Diwali typically lasts five days as opposed to just one. Here's how the festival is celebrated, according to the almanac:

Day 1
Indians clean their homes and create rangoli, which are designs made of colored rice, sand or flowers, on the floor.

Day 2
The day is spent preparing or buying special food, particularly sweets called mithai, and praying for ancestral spirits in the afterlife.

Day 3
This is the main day of Diwali for most Indians, celebrated with families gathering to light lanterns and candles in their homes and along their streets, as well as erupt fireworks.

Day 4
In many traditions, the fourth day celebrates the bond between husband and wife, so spouses will typically give gifts to one another.

Day 5
The day traditionally celebrates the bond between siblings, specifically between brothers and sisters.

The festival is observed annually by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others throughout the United States, including those in the Indian-American community.

Numerous countries, including India, Fiji, Malaysia, Pakistan and Singapore, observe Diwali as a national holiday.

No, not as of 2021.

However, Krishnamoorthi has agreed to co-sponsor a piece of legislation to make the observation of Diwali a national holiday in the United States.

The legislation, introduced in the House by New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, would make Diwali the 12th federal holiday recognized by the United States.

“The celebration of the triumph of light over darkness is especially important during this pandemic,” Krishnamoorthi said on social media.

Currently there are 11 recognized federal holidays, with the latest holiday, Juneteenth National Independence Day, being added to the calendar in 2021.

According to federal law, holidays designated by Congress apply to federal institutions and the District of Columbia. Banks, schools and select companies typically observe federal holidays, but are not required by law to do so.

Earlier this week, Krishnamoorthi also introduced a resolution “recognizing the religious and historical significance” of the festival.

“I want to wish a safe and happy Diwali to all the families gathering with loved ones to light lamps in their homes, and to pray for good health and peace for all people,” he said.

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