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6 Things You Should Do If You Have COVID Now, Dr. Gupta Says

Plus, everything you need to know about the new booster.

With COVID and flu season ramping up, protecting yourself and others from getting infected should be a priority. One of the easiest ways that each of us can do our part in minimizing damage and exposure is by taking the right precautions when we have been exposed to the virus or suspect we are infected. Sanjay Gupta, MD, has revealed exactly what to do if you think you have COVID. 

Understand That the Guidance Has Change

Doctor Sanjay Gupta

First and foremost, understand that the guidance of years past might not be the current recommendations. "Some of the guidance has changed as well, probably over the past several months," Dr. Gupta says in an interview for CNN. 

If You Suspect You Have Covid, Stay Home


"First of all, if you're sick, no matter what, you should stay home," Dr. Gupta recommends. "I think that even before the pandemic, that was the advice. That was the recommendation. That holds true. 

Get Tested


Next, if you suspect you have COVID, get tested. If you test positive, he recommends the following. 

Isolate for 5 Days


"What the recommendations are now is that for five days, you should isolate," says Dr. Gupta. "Now, one caveat there is, let's say you had symptoms and then you didn't actually test yourself until day two or three. The isolation period actually begins at the time you first had symptoms. So the day after you first developed symptoms, that's day one of isolation and so forth. You don't have to test, but if you want to test two tests in a row, negative tests in a row, if you're not having any more symptoms, that can get you out of isolation."

Wear a Mask Until You Have Two Negative Tests


Wear a mask if you test positive. However, "no recommendations on mask wearing either at that point if you have those two negative tests," he says. 

Get the COVID Booster


He also touches upon "triple threat" – the flu, COVID, and RSV.  "Sort of look at it like this: For flu before Halloween is when you should think about getting your vaccine," he said. And, get the COVID booster. "That new booster is going to better target some of the more dominant strains, the most dominant strain right now known as EG.5 . This booster doesn't specifically target that, but it targets another strain, which is pretty similar. So should offer you some protection with regard to RSV."

The Booster Will Be Available Soon


The US Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on the latest booster, which will be available within weeks. 

The New Vaccines Offers Immunity for New Strains


The mRNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech are effective against EG.5 and other emerging variants, according to the manufacturers. 

Infections and Hospitalizations Are on the Rise


Since August, the total number of infections and hospitalizations have been rising. For the first time, there are vaccines for the flu, RSV, and COVID. 

 RELATED: Surprising Signs You've Already Had COVID

Everyone Has Access to the Booster


"The committee is very committed to equity, to make sure that everyone in our very diverse country will have access to the vaccine," said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville and former medical director of the nonprofit National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.