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[Webinar Recap] Free testing locations

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In our webinar, Ready for Winter, epidemiologist Mark Springer from Spokane Regional Health District and King County Health and Environmental Investigator Doug Dyer joined us to go over best practices regarding coronavirus and the coming winter season. This section covers where to get free testing and how long you should quarantine. 

 Where can employers direct their teams to get free testing? Look at your community’s public health website, that’s the best place to start. Make sure you identify what types of tests are being offered — there are rapid tests and there are less-rapid tests. The public health websites will be the most up to date. 

Regarding quarantine length, the question came up: If you have no symptoms, but live with a symptomatic person, what’s the quarantine procedure?  

Well, you can’t test out of quarantine. A doctor’s note won’t help. If you are in close contact, you could develop coronavirus infection at any point. Quarantine is two weeks and that’s from the last date of exposure or the last time a household member was infectious.  

What this means for you or your staff is simple: you have to isolate two whole weeks from the last point of exposure. If it’s a family member who can, in some capacity, isolate themselves within a household, that’s the best practice. If it is somebody like a child, who cannot be effectively isolated for so long, then the last exposure with them — basically, at the end of their period of sickness — is the starting point of whoever else was exposed two-week quarantine. 

This could effectively mean a quarantine of 24 days from the onset of the illness in a household member.