Health experts learn new details about how coronavirus is spread

Experts learn new information regarding COVID-19 spread

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - There are new developments in just how the coronavirus is passed from person-to-person, with health experts saying new information seems to be coming in by the minute.

One change coming in from the CDC is just how long someone should stay in isolation after they test positive. Experts also say contracting the virus might be easier than you think.

“So much of what we’ve done in response to COVID has been, perhaps not a full stopping of our lives, but definitely a breaking, a pulling back,” Richmond and Henrico Health Director Dr. Danny Avula said.

Now, the CDC has changed what is considered ‘close contact’ when it comes to being around someone who is positive.

“Up to this point, we have been using the definition of 15 minutes or longer, within 6-feet of somebody,” Avula said.

That is not the case anymore. Experts say someone can catch the virus from briefer but repeated encounters with someone who is positive.

“It should also change the way all of us think about our own potential risk and our potential exposure,” Avula said.

The CDC advises individuals who have been in close contact with someone who is positive to quarantine for two weeks.

Avula also says those who test positive for the virus no longer need to test negative before coming out of isolation.

“People with mild to moderate illness are cleared at 10 days after the onset of symptoms, or after the date of their test,” he said. That’s because many tests don’t confirm whether the virus is still active in a person’s system.

“People can actually harbor dead virus in their respiratory tracks for weeks beyond their infection,” he continued.

As new guidance comes in every day, experts say we all must do our part to fight the spread.

Experts say close contact also means hugging and kissing someone who has the virus, sharing utensils and providing home care to someone who is sick. Sneezing and coughing still counts, as well.

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