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Medical Guidance

If You're Exposed to COVID-19

If you have been within 6 feet of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes or in direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case without the proper use of PPE, there is a likelihood you’ve been exposed to the virus. 

For your safety and the safety of others, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) recommends you practice the following protocols for at least 14 days after your latest exposure to COVID-19. If you live with someone who has COVID-19, it is recommended you follow these protocols for an additional 14 days after the person is no longer self-isolating.

Limit your contact with others

Stay home and avoid contact with others.

  • Do not go to work or school.
  • Discuss your situation with your employer before returning to work.
  • Do not take public transportation, taxis or ride-shares
  • Avoid crowded places and limit your activities in public.

Monitor your symptoms and practice good hygiene

  • Watch for fever, cough or trouble breathing.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. Do not cover with your hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60-95% alcohol.

If you begin to feel ill with fever, cough or shortness of breath

Immediately self-isolate and avoid contact with others.

Seek medical care if needed.

  • Call ahead before going to the doctor or emergency room.
  • Tell the medical staff about your possible exposure to COVID-19 and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.

Please note, if you have been exposed to someone who is exposed, you are not at heightened risk if the individual tests negative.

If the individual tests positive or develops symptoms within two days of contact with you

  • Monitor yourself closely for symptoms and check your temperature twice daily.
  • Contact your health care provider for further advice if you develop symptoms.
  • Self-isolate the recommended 14 days after exposure, including avoiding trips to grocery stores or pharmacies. Have others deliver supplies to you while avoiding contact with others.
  • For students going into isolation log into your courses in canvas and use the Notification of Absence process to let your instructors know that you will be moving to online only participation in classes for at least the next two weeks. If your instructor does not use canvas, contact them directly to let them know of this temporary shift in how you will be participating in classes. Use the same process to inform your instructors that you have been cleared to return to in-person classes.
  • Special cleaning procedures are not required for exposed but asymptomatic individuals.