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What should you do if you are fully vaccinated and exposed to COVID?

Published: Jun. 1, 2021 at 6:20 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - More than 50 percent of the US population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and more than 40 percent of the country is fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

What do you do if you are fully vaccinated and are exposed to someone who tests positive?

That’s an issue Louisville resident Sarah Korcz ran into. Korcz is fully vaccinated and was excited about getting back to doing some normal things.

She’s a seasonal event coordinator. Even in June, she’s already looking ahead to Halloween.

“I really love haunted houses,” Korcz said. “It was really important that I got vaccinated so I can go back to working at haunted houses. Scaring people and all that kind of stuff.”

However, Korcz had her own scare. She recently went on a work trip with a few people who were not vaccinated.

“We got a message that a couple of the people in our group working together were displaying symptoms and they got tested and they ended up testing positive for COVID,” Korcz said.

It’s a situation many people may find themselves in as vaccination rates across the country are uneven. There is still a great deal of vaccine hesitancy, challenges with access, and availability only to those 12 and older.

So, what should you do if you are vaccinated and exposed to someone with COVID?

“As long as you don’t have symptoms you don’t need to be tested,” Dr. Mark Burns of UofL Health said. “You don’t have to stay away, distance from anybody, you don’t have to quarantine, you don’t have to do any of that if fully vaccinated. There is special provisions for someone who works in a correctional facility, detention center, or homeless shelter. It’s a little different for them.”

The CDC said although the risk that fully vaccinated people could become infected with COVID-19 is low, anyone who has had their shots and experiences COVID symptoms should isolate themselves and be tested.

“Remember, these vaccines, as safe and effective as they are, they are not 100 percent which means it is possible you could have breakthrough infection,” Burns said.

Korcz said she isn’t feeling like her normal self after finding out her coworkers tested positive. She’s getting tested to be sure.

“Everyone needs to get their vaccine, it’s very important,” Korcz said.

For more information on what fully vaccinated people can do, click here.

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