BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – Although Labor Day exposures have already happened, there is still time to prevent further transmission of COVID-19, state health leaders said on Tuesday.
“Monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and if you have signs and symptoms, you should consider testing with guidance of your healthcare provider and then secondly, if you do not know if you have been specifically exposed to COVID-19. Then the measure I would recommend is continue to take your preventative measures,” explained Dr. Karen Landers, Alabama Department of Public Health, (ADPH).
Dr. Landers said it will be crucial for people who dropped their guard over Labor Day weekend to “double down” on wearing a mask, practicing good hand hygiene and avoiding crowds for the next two weeks.
“The period of time after incubation can be as short as two days or as long as 14 days,” she explained.
A person is at risk of exposure if they’re within six feet of someone infected with the virus for more than 15 minutes, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A tool created by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology estimates that for any gathering of 10 people in Alabama, there’s a 20% chance at least one person has COVID-19. The larger the crowd, the greater the risk of exposure.
“Being in a crowd or group of people is not necessarily a requirement to be tested for COVID-19,” said Dr. Landers. “However, if a person wishes to be tested, wait 4-6 days after that last contact to be tested, and once you’re tested, you need to remain at home before you get those test results so your situation can be managed appropriately if you do have a positive test.”
Dr. Landers said it is crucial for people who were possibly exposed to COVID-19 over the weekend to take preventative steps to limit further spread of the virus.
“We know people are weary, and we understand that this is a very, very stressful time for people but the more that you can redouble your efforts to keep yourself safe, your family safe, your community safe, I mean, this will yield a good outcome for us,” said Dr. Landers.