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What you should do if you've been exposed to COVID-19, this holiday weekend

Health experts are on alert now that the Christmas holiday is over.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Now that the Christmas holiday is over, health experts are on alert. COVID-19 cases are on the rise and some of you may be wondering: what do you do if you were exposed over the weekend?

Chesapeake Health Department emergency coordinator Jerry Tucker said if you were exposed, whether you need to quarantine all boils down to whether you’re vaccinated.   

“If you find out that you were exposed to a positive person, if you’re fully vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine but you do need to monitor yourself for any symptoms," Tucker explained.

But you should still get tested within five to seven days after exposure, even if you don’t have any symptoms.

His advice is different if you haven’t gotten your COVID shot. 

“If you’re not vaccinated, if you’re not fully vaccinated, and you’re a known exposure, you should quarantine yourself for 14 days," Tucker said.

In this case, you should also get tested immediately.

But if you’re having trouble finding a test, that’s because demand for testing has skyrocketed. 

“That really began before the Thanksgiving holiday season. We noticed that, and it hasn’t really calmed down at all," Tucker said.

It’s not just Hampton Roads; across the country, some places are seeing a shortage of COVID-19 tests. 

“That is putting a serious strain on our existing resources," Tucker said, adding that Chesapeake is meeting testing demands.  

“If you would have asked me this question last week, my answer may have been different," he said. "But I think we were able to work through all of our logistical constraints and at this point, I think we’ll be able to meet the demands of the public.”

The Omicron variant now makes up more than 70 percent of all new cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

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