Who are close contacts?
Close contacts are someone who was less than 6 feet away from an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinical
diagnosis) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. For example, three individual 5-minute
exposures for a total of 15 minutes.
When should I seek emergency care if I have COVID-19?
Seek emergency medical care immediately if you are having: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest,
new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin
tone. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
How long do you have to stay home from school or work?
Each school district and workplace has their own Covid-19 re-entry policy. Please consult their policy.
How do I get a note for work or school?
Ask your primary care provider (PCP) or pharmacy who administered the test to write you an excuse for work. If you do
NOT have a PCP or took a home test and your employer will accept that result, please call Gasconade County Health
Department for more information at 573-486-3129 (Hermann) or 573-437-2579 (Owensville).
When can I get my vaccine after I’ve had COVID?
If you have received monoclonal antibody treatment you should wait 90 days from the date of treatment. If you did not
receive monoclonal antibody treatment, you can get it once your recommended isolation is completed and you are
feeling better. Current science suggests that natural antibodies are very protective for 90 days after infection. Please
discuss with your PCP to decide when the best time is for you.
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?
Yes. Vaccines have passed extensive trials and met rigorous safety and effectiveness standards before they were
distributed. The COVID-19 vaccines were studied in tens of thousands of people, the study results were reviewed by
independent advisory committees, and these committees then gave advice on who should receive the vaccine. The
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also reviewed all the information and gave authorization for their use. Although
they were developed much more quickly than other vaccines, this was able to be done because scientists across the
world focused their efforts on COVID-19, not because any corners were cut. Scientists and researchers were able to
use existing data and technology discovered when studying the numerous other coronaviruses that have been affecting
our health for years. In addition, there is now over a year of real world data on hundreds of millions of people who have
received the vaccines approved for use in the US, and while serious side effects are possible (as they are with all
medical treatments) they are very rare,
Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No. When your body responds to the vaccine, it learns how to fight that illness so that the next time you
encounter it, your body is prepared to fight it off without making you severely sick. In the case of the COVID19 vaccine, the first two authorized vaccines utilize decades of research in developing mRNA (messenger
RNA) technology. You’ve seen lots of images of the coronavirus with its spikes. These vaccines use mRNA to
teach your body to recognize those spikes and to fight off the virus. None of the COVID vaccines approved
for use in the US contain the live virus itself.
Should I get a booster shot?
Yes. Currently, being up to date on vaccination appears to be the most effective way to decrease the risk of developing
complications or requiring hospitalization if you do get COVID. Booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines are recommended
for anyone aged 12 and older for Pfizer and 18 and older for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The boosters are
recommended for Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines 5 months after completing the primary vaccination series.
Boosters for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are recommended at least 2 months after the initial dose.
Are there any effective treatments for COVID-19?
Yes. Please don’t delay in speaking with your PCP if you have tested positive for COVID-19 and are at risk of severe
illness. There are now several types of medications that have been approved for emergency use (including antiviral
drugs, anti-inflammatory therapies, and monoclonal antibodies). Some of these medications are administered
intravenously (per IV) and some are taken as pills. Most treatments have only been found to be helpful in certain
circumstances, but to be most effective, all need to be started as soon as possible after symptom onset (most are not
effective if started after 5-7 days). Also, please don't take any medications without a prescription and your doctor's
Why is it recommended that I wear a mask for the last 5 days after isolation?
Evidence suggests most transmission of COVID-19 occurs during the early period of infection (before and during your
isolation period). However, after 5 days, some people are still infectious and properly wearing a well-fitting mask (in
addition to maintaining distance from others, handwashing, and frequently sanitizing) decreases the odds you will pass
COVID to someone else.
I have taken a home-test and am positive. How do I report my result?
Thank you for choosing to continue to provide your data to help those studying COVID-19. Please visit the following link
or visit Gasconade County Health Department’s website to provide your information: