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Isolation Guidelines, Is There a ‘Nightmare’ Variant? – NBC Chicago

What should you do if you test positive with recent strains of COVID and how long could you stay positive, particularly as new variants emerge and BA.5’s dominance declines.

There are some guidelines you should know as some Illinois counties return to “high” COVID alert levels.

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:

Test Positive for COVID Recently? Here Are the Latest Isolation Guidelines

If you recently contracted COVID-19, you may be wondering what to do next, including what isolation protocol to follow.

If you had COVID previously and followed the proper guidance, you’ll likely need to take note as the current recommendations aren’t the same as the start of the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its quarantine and isolation guidance in August, announcing a series of adjustments driven by the fact the majority of people have either been vaccinated or have gotten COVID.

Read more here.

New COVID Variants XBB and BQ.1.1 Emerge, But What Do We Know About Them So Far?

While the BA.5 variant of COVID-19 continues to make up the majority of cases in the United States, several recent variants are beginning to emerge in larger numbers, causing concern among health officials.

With colder weather on the way in the coming months, here’s what we know about the recently emerging variants as the COVID-19 pandemic heads into its third winter.

Is There a ‘Nightmare’ COVID Variant Spreading Right Now? Here’s What to Know for Chicago Area

While the BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 COVID subvariants have gained traction across the US in recent days, another new strain is responsible for a surge in cases in Singapore.

Referred to as the “nightmare” variant in some reports, XBB is the combination of two omicron subvariants – BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.10.75 – and is said to have a “significant growth advantage,” said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, an infectious disease specialist and the technical lead for COVID-19 response at the World Health Organization.

Read more here.

How Long Can You Continue to Test Positive for COVID-19?

As concerns over COVID-19 rise heading into the winter months, many are wondering how long they can expect to test positive in the event of contracting COVID.

With the more recent periods, the incubation period, the time between when you’re infected to when symptoms appear, has dropped to three days, Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said. Most elements with both the aforementioned strains have moved faster compared to others, the doctor noted.

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Masks Recommended in 3 Illinois Counties With ‘High’ COVID Community Level

Masks are advised in three Illinois counties that have returned to “high” COVID community level status following an increase in weekly metrics, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Friday, Knox, Saline and Warren counties were all said to be at “high” community level status.

Read more here.

Loss of Smell May Not Happen Right Away. What We Know About the COVID Symptom

While it seemed that loss of smell may have faded from the most common symptoms associated with the virus, health experts say it’s still being seen in many infections — and for some, it may not hit right away.

Chicago’s top doctor said the city continues to see a “wide range of symptoms,” including loss of taste and smell.

Read more here.

Pfizer Says COVID-19 Vaccine Will Cost $110-$130 Per Can

Pfizer will charge $110 to $130 for a dose of its COVID-19 vaccine once the US government stops buying the shots, but the drugmaker says it expects many people will continue receiving it for free.

Pfizer executives said the commercial pricing for adult doses could start early next year, depending on when the government phases out its program of buying and distributing the shots.

Read more here.

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