Three years into the COVID pandemic, a new wave of infections is spiking, driven in large part due to COVID strains that are more easily transmissible, even to those who are fully vaccinated. Yet, many states and municipalities have closed testing centers, which has also limited the ability to utilize contact tracing. The ease of access for home tests has reduced the need for public testing sites, but these tests also do not provide a clear path for reporting positive results, nor do they require users to do so. Still, it’s important to inform those around you that you have COVID so that they can test themselves and know if they are at risk.
When to Share and Who to Tell
You don’t necessarily need to announce that you’re sick on social media or notify everyone on your contact list that you’ve contracted COVID. Still, you should let anyone who is at risk after close exposure know that you’ve been infected. That includes coworkers, fellow students, teachers, family, housemates, friends, and hosts of any parties or events—if you have hosted an event and an attendee lets you know they’re sick, notify as many attendees and event staff as possible.
When you do share the news, use whatever means of communication you’re most comfortable with that others are still likely to see. A text message is usually appropriate. You’ll also want to isolate until you no longer have symptoms and test negative.
Although most people in the U.S. have had COVID at least once, and conversations about contracting COVID are much more common, it’s still possible that others may have a negative reaction to potential exposure. They may try to place blame on you, stating that you haven’t been careful enough or have compromised their travel plans. However, it’s important to distance yourself from those reactions. Allow room for upset individuals to cool off and pick up the conversation later, reminding them that you weren’t acting maliciously and were trying to take appropriate precautions.
If you need to find COVID screening in your area or speak to a medical provider via a virtual visit, MeMD is here for you 24/7. Request a visit to schedule testing and manage your symptoms.