November 10, 2020


On Monday, November 9th, me and my family were informed that our neighbor and close friend had tested positive for COVID-19. We started thinking about who we had come in contact with over the past couple days. We reached out to those people and informed them that we had been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and were in the process of ourselves getting tested. As I write this now my wife is going and getting a rapid test done. I had gone last night and was able to get both the rapid antigen test and a longer test called the polymerase chain reaction test, or PCR.

My rapid test came back negative last night about 30-40 mins after taking it. The rapid-test, as reported by the administering physician informed me that the rapid test was only about 60% accurate and commonly reports false negatives, in order to be sure I would have to wait for the PCR results to come back in 2 to 3 days. So what do we do until then and what does this mean for our family and maybe yours should you find yourself in a similar situation?

So the first thing we did was to use the COVID-19 screening app on my iPhone. The app was developed in collaboration with the CDC and there is a website version available as well for those that prefer android or another type of mobile device. Answering the questions I had answered that I had been in signficiant close contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19 and that I had felt some symptoms. I did not know if the symptoms were related to COVID or not but I had been feeling body aches for a couple of days and my wife had woken up with a scratchy throat. Our kids meanwhile felt fine. The app had then taken me to another resource that was specific to my state.

Apple and Google together had created a contact tracing service for use by all the states, and New Jersey happens to make use of that service. New Jersey has a state specific app for Android and Apple devices. Using these resources I was able to find where to get tested, anticipated turn around time, and further information for how to proceed.

Now I got my test done last night, my wife had to wait until this afternoon, so what did we do in the meantime? We followed the advice of the CDC and their guidance on “Caring for Someone Sick at Home”, so we put my wife in isolation until she could get her test done. -

COVID-19 spreads between people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets, created when someone talks, coughs or sneezes. Staying away from others helps stop the spread of COVID-19. The person who is sick should isolate.

The sick person should separate themselves from others in the home. Learn when and how to isolate.

If possible – * Have the person who is sick use a separate bedroom and bathroom. * Have the person who is sick stay in their own “sick room” or area and away from others. * Try to stay at least 6 feet away from the sick person.

In a Shared space – * If you have to share space, make sure the room has good air flow. * Open the window to increase air circulation. Improving ventilation helps remove respiratory droplets from the air.

Avoid having any unnecessary visitors, especially visits by people who are at higher risk for severe illness. Caregivers and anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should stay home. Learn when and how to quarantine.

So as I continue to write this, my wife’s antigen test has come back negative as well. We are going to continue to be cautious, shrink our bubble a little more, and adhere more closely to the guidance that the CDC has put out regarding Daily Activities and Going Out.

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© Lars Cromley 2017