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When can you return to work after having COVID-19?

According to healthcare professionals and the CDC, there are multiple things to look for before you can head back to work

MACON, Ga. — While COVID-19 continues to spread across the state, and the rest of the country, some people are already starting to recover.

On Tuesday, Robins Air Force Base announced three people who tested positive for COVID-19 have now recovered and returned to work. 

But when do healthcare professionals and the CDC say it's safe for you to return to your job?

Dr. Lance Slade in Macon said they are looking at two categories: people who have shown symptoms and people who have not.

He said the guidelines for the two are  a little different.

"Asymptomatic patients that have a positive test can go back seven days after the positive test assuming they've had no symptoms, so they're safe and wearing the masks and protecting other people that way," said Slade.

Doctor Jennifer Hoffman, an infectious disease physician at Coliseum Medical Centers and the CDC both say if you have shown symptoms, you need to pay attention to two things.

"What the CDC is recommending right now is if you’ve had a confirmed or suspected COVID, then you need to wait a minimum of seven days from the time of any symptom onset or three days without a fever.

Slade said being "fever-free" means you cannot have any fever reducers in your system.

"No Tylenol affecting, that kind of thing, because sometimes we'll take it for chills, so it doesn't count if you're not having fever, but you're taking medicine for it."

He also depending on testing availability, if you had symptoms, you should get two negative tests, 24 hours apart before you can go back to work.

If you don't have any symptoms, you don't have to get a follow-up test.

Both the Department of Public Health and Dr. Hoffman say the situation for healthcare workers is different.

For them, it all depends on how hard a community or a hospital has been hit. 

DPH guidelines say if a healthcare worker is asymptomatic, facilities should allow that person back to work if they've exhausted all other options to improve staffing.

Those asymptomatic healthcare workers who are allowed to go back to work, should still report their temperature every day before going in.

For more information on when the CDC says you can go back to work, click on this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html 

For more on when the DPH says healthcare workers can return to work, read the document below.

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FACTS NOT FEAR | At 13WMAZ, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the coronavirus. To see our full coverage, visit our site section here: www.13wmaz.com/Coronavirus.

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