COVID-19 question of the day: ‘Do patients hospitalized with COVID-19 have to stay in the hospital for 14 days?’

Coronavirus

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Call News 5’s coronavirus hotline and leave us a message if you have a question about the virus. The number is 251-662-3055.

The question for April 8 is, “I’d like to know, if a person is in the hospital quarantined positive for COVID-19, will they be released before their 14 days?”

Doctors at USA Health tell News 5 that patients with COVID-19 can be discharged from a healthcare facility whenever clinically indicated. Patients with more severe symptoms would most likely be required to be hospitalized for at least 14 days. When patients are discharged before the 14 days are up, they should be given information about how to continue to self-quarantine at home if needed.

The decision to discontinue isolation can be based on a test kit, if available, or, “time-since-illness-onset and time-since-recovery strategy.” That means, someone with COVID-19 who had symptoms and was directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation if there is improvement in respiratory symptoms, at least 72 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

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