Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsInfectious Diseases · 2 months ago

Should I be worried about possibly being exposed to Covid here?

At my job, one of my coworkers attended a party and came in contact with someone who tested positive, so she had to quarantine for 2 weeks. So yesterday, I ended up taking care of her parents at my register!!! I didn’t realize who they were until they handed me her discount card at the end!!! And I don’t think the 2 weeks were over yet, so correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t everyone in your house supposed to quarantine with you?

5 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    It used to be that everyone in the household had to be quarantined if someone in that house was quarantined. It isn't being done with COVID which is one of the strange things going on today.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Depending on the circumstances I wouldn't be too worried.  If the coworker lives with her parents then she quite possibly exposed them too.  It's possible to avoid exposing people in the same household.  If your coworker stayed in one part of the house and did not share common spaces with her parents (kitchen, bathroom etc) then she could avoid infecting them (even if she found out about the infected partygoer after going home she might avoid infection because it usually takes a couple days for and infected person to become contagious).  But a lot of people don't go to the lengths needed to do that.  With this being said, there's only a danger of infecting her parents if she in fact has the virus.  If she doesn't, then her parents aren't any more dangerous than any other random customer. 

    The big factors, I think, are what precautions you and the parents were taking to avoid spreading the virus.  Just being in proximity to an infected person is no guarantee of catching the virus.  You can take precautions which limit your vulnerability.  I live in New York and at the height of the outbreak here, medical professionals, who had he greatest exposure to infected people, actually had a lower rate of infection than the general public.  This is because they took precautions to keep themselves safe.  You can do that too.  The most basic thing is wearing a mask.  If you and the parents both wore masks then your chance of catching the virus from them goes way down.  The virus basically spreads because people breathe out respiratory droplets which contain the virus and other people inhale those droplets.  A normal human breath can go up to 6 feet.  A mask limits how far that breath will go.  A simple, two ply hand made mask can limit the distance that particles will travel to as little as a few inches.  After that they will settle to the floor where they are harmless (unless you go licking the floor).  Masks also offer some level of protection to yourself by catching some of these particles which do make it to your face and preventing you from inhaling them.  There's other factors which can help too.  The greater the physical distance between you and them, the safer you are.  Of course, you seem to indicate that you're a cashier so you were probably in arms reach, which is less safe than farther away.  A lot of stores, at least near me, have erected plexiglass barriers at their registers to protect cashiers.  There's some debate on how well these work, but I have to imagine that they provide some protection because logic says that they will prevent some of these respiratory droplets from hitting you.  The other factor is time.  There's growing evidence that really brief contacts with someone, such as maybe walking by them on a sidewalk or something, don't pose much if any risk.  This is because you need to take in a certain numbers of viruses in order to become infected.  It's not like you get one of virus in you and you're infected.  The longer you spend with an infected person then the greater number of viruses you're being exposed to and the greater the risk of being infected.  The good news is that for a cashier your exposure to these people was probably limited to just a few minutes.  The CDC officially uses a standard of 15 minutes exposure for whether you should seek out testing, although the data shows that exposure for less time can also be a risk.  If this was a standard few minute check out that you'd see at many grocery stores or other stores then you're probably not in tremendous danger. 

    Bottom line is, depending on the precautautions taken, especially whether or not they and/or you were wearing masks, you might not have a lot to worry about. 

  • 2 months ago

    Anyone in her house has to quarantine as well, so if she lives with her parents, they should be in quarantine, which means not going out. 

    I hope you were wearing a mask. 

  • kelvin
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    you still don't have C-19

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  • 2 months ago

    risk small. the quarantine is 10 days now per CDC, you had very minimal contact. they may even have tested negative. and no, you arent required to quarantine all together, just quarantine.

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