How soon after COVID-19 exposure should a child get tested?

Because they haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19, children under 12 should quarantine immediately after exposure to someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

Because they haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19, children under 12 should quarantine immediately after exposure to someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

Exposure definitions for children in K-12 school:

  • If all children are wearing masks, exposure is defined as being within 3 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes while the person was considered contagious.
  • If children are not wearing masks, exposure is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes while the person was considered contagious.

A person is contagious for two days before symptoms develop or if no symptoms, two days before a positive test.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the local health department outline the following steps for anyone who isn’t fully vaccinated, including children.

  • Quarantine at home
  • If no symptoms develop, test five to seven days after exposure. If negative, children can end their quarantine and return to normal routines on day eight
  • If not tested, quarantine for 10 days and return to normal routines on day 11 if no symptoms develop

If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and contact your child’s health provider about getting tested.

Anyone ages 12 and older can get vaccinated. Those who are fully vaccinated ‑ two weeks after the second dose of Pfizer — and exposed to someone with a known or suspected case of COVID-19 should, according to the CDC:

  • Get tested three to five days after exposure, even with no symptoms.
  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they get a negative test result.

COVID-19 testing

Testing is available at several Norton facilities.

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Who should get tested for COVID-19

The CDC provides the following COVID-19 testing guidelines regarding who should be tested:

  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status or prior infection
  • Unvaccinated people who have had exposure to someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19
  • Fully vaccinated people three to five days following a known exposure
  • Unvaccinated people who have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 because they cannot physically distance as needed to avoid exposure, such as travel, attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded or poorly-ventilated indoor settings
  • People who have been asked or referred to get tested by their health care provider or local authorities

Collecting samples from the upper respiratory tract for COVID-19 testing

  • The long swab through the nose and into nasopharynx is still the most reliable test, but it can be uncomfortable for many, especially kids. In children under 12, the swab goes about three quarters of an inch into the nostril and more than an inch for adults. This should be performed only by a trained health care provider.

 


COVID-19
COVID-19

COVID-19 Vaccines

Norton Children’s has opened COVID-19 vaccination appointments for kids ages 5 and older.
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COVID-19 Tests

Schedule Online

Call (502) 861-4611, option 1

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