Recovered COVID-19 Patients Do Not Pose a Risk of Spreading the Virus

St. Croix, US Virgin Islands (July 29, 2020) We have seen posts warning the public to stay away from Plaza East, and have heard similar warnings about other establishments, as well as reports of individuals being mistreated because of suspicion that they were infected with COVID-19. Some were never infected, and others had already recovered.

Such warnings are unfair and unwarranted. The Department of Health follows positive, suspected cases and their contacts closely and makes the determination when someone is no longer contagious.

Just as when a person recovers from any other illness, they are expected to be able to resume normal activities, including work. The same must be true for persons who have recovered from COVID-19.

In fact, that recovered individual is the safest person to be around. We repeatedly stress the need to wear masks, maintain physical distance, wash or sanitize hands frequently and other precautions because we don’t know who is contagious. Many people who are infected feel healthy and show no symptoms at all. We must therefore always protect ourselves and protect others from us by following those instructions.

We can and should treat our fellow Virgin Islander as we would want to be treated under these circumstances.

Fortunately, many people recover well from COVID-19 and do not require hospitalization. What exactly does “recovered” mean?

Well, according to the CDC, “recovered” means that at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms like cough, shortness of breath; and, at least 7-10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

There is no higher risk for entering one business or agency over the other; however, it is critical for you to continue to abide by the guidance on wearing masks and social distancing.

There is no need to scorn anyone who may have been infected in the past. Welcome your coworker back to work and always wear your mask properly, wash hands frequently, and maintain physical distance at all times.

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