Masks, Social Distancing Important, Even After Recovering From COVID-19

Nov 17, 2020, 12:03 AM | Updated: 12:14 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – With so much emphasis on how to slow the spread of COVID-19, little attention has given to how Utahns can safely move on with their daily activities if they’ve contracted the virus and recovered.

That’s a question many Utahns have, as over 150,000 have contracted COVID-19 and over 100,000 were considered recovered as of Monday night.

Health experts said once individuals have completed isolation and have been symptom-free for 24 hours, they are no longer a risk to those around them.

However, Jenny Johnson with the Utah Department of Health said there are still risks.

“At that point, they’re no longer considered infectious to others, so they’re free to go back to work, go to school,” Johnson said. “But that comes with a caveat that while reinfection is rare, it does and can happen.”

Johnson said while we have learned a lot about COVID-19 over the past several months, there are still many unknowns.

“A lot of people say, ‘Well, I’ve heard that I have immunity for 90 days and that means I can do what I want,'” Johnson said. “We’ve learned a lot, but there’s still things we don’t know about how long immunity will last. We don’t know if it’s different for different people and what might impact your immunity.”

She strongly discouraged that behavior and said masks and social distancing are still critical.

Johnson believes a vaccine is right around the corner. But until then, people need to keep up their guard and keep following the guidelines set out by the Centers for Disease Control.

That means to keep wearing masks, social distancing and if you’re feeling sick, stay home.

“We have several more months of this,” Johnson said. “It’s not that hard. We can do this.”

And it’s not just in heavily populated areas or grocery stores where Utahns should be wearing masks. Johnson said anytime you’re around anyone that doesn’t live in your household, you should be wearing a mask.

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Masks, Social Distancing Important, Even After Recovering From COVID-19