COVID-19 Exposure AND You Have NO Symptoms

Exposure and NO Symptoms – Overview

  • Although you may have been or were exposed to COVID-19, you do not currently have any symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms start, on the average, 3 to 4 days after the last exposure. The onset can range from 2 to 10 days.
  • Since it’s been less than 10 days, the exposed person still at risk for getting sick with COVID-19.
  • You need to watch for symptoms until 10 days have passed.
  • Follow this medical advice.

You Do Not Need to See Your Doctor

  • You or your child do not have any symptoms. Exposed people don’t need to see a doctor.
  • You may need to get a COVID-19 test. See Testing section below.
  • If you or your child become sick and develop more than mild symptoms, you may need to see your doctor

COVID-19 Testing: Who Needs It

  • Testing is the only way to know for sure who has COVID-19. Can’t tell by symptoms. Reason: most respiratory viruses cause similar symptoms.
  • Many doctor’s offices, retail clinics, drug stores and urgent care centers offer testing.
  • For questions about testing, call your doctor during office hours.
  • Diagnostic tests are performed on nasal or mouth secretions. The tests can tell us if you have a COVID-19 infection now. Timing is important on when to do this test:
    • With Symptoms. Get a test within 3 days of onset of symptoms.
    • Without Symptoms and a COVID-19 close contact. You can get a test on day 3 to 5 after exposure.

Call Your Doctor If:

  • Severe cough or trouble breathing occurs

Author: Barton Schmitt, MD, FAAP
Copyright: Copyright 2023. Updated 5/10/2023.
Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.