Precautions After High Risk Exposure at Work

Nurses COVID


I'm looking for experience/advice on what to do after being informed of a high risk Covid exposure at work. Exposure occurred 3 days ago - I was wearing my own KN95, surgical mask, and eyeglasses. Pt has since tested positive, and I was with this patient for a 12 hr shift performing all cares/feeds (I work in a peds specialty area where patients are too young to wear masks, thus considered high risk). I had first dose of vaccine 5 days prior.

My testing is scheduled & I'm asymptomatic - I'm just wondering if you took any extra precautions to protect family at home while waiting on tests and results? I'm pretty cautious because my kids have immune system issues, they're home w/ me all day on days off, but they've already been around me between exposure & being notified. I can't find guidelines on this anywhere, it's all in context of when the exposed HCW can go back to work.

Specializes in Telemetry, Primary Care.

Honestly, "precautions" should have started months ago. The day I woke up with covid-like symptoms was the day I knew I was positive covid. I live with my parents (early-mid 60's very healthy) and immediately isolated myself. I actually keep to myself so it wasn't anything different. I basically confined myself to my computer room and bedroom and wore a mask around the house. Told my parents to do the same. I ate and did everything in my room and tried to minimize contact with my parents. My mom ended up testing positive a few days after me. I wasn't surprised. It's almost as expected since we live in the same confines it's only a matter of time just as it is with nurses like myself that work on the covid unit.

Precautions can go as far as you're willing. The main guidelines are really the same, social distance, mask and hand hygiene. If your symptomatic, get tested and isolate. Can't get any simpler than that.

Specializes in Telemetry, Primary Care.

Double post sorry


234 Posts

Precautions should have started months ago? I take precautions to prevent covid in my daily life this past year - I was specifically asking about what I should do if I'm asymptomatic, had high risk exposure from a patient, and still have to be home and providing care w/ young kids at home on my days off. I can't hide in a room all day for 14 days. 

I was curious if people who lived w/ others took extra measures like masking at home, distancing when possible or carried on until getting an actual positive test.

allnurses Guide

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

4 Articles; 4,843 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life).

It's a tough call because you have little's in the house who need snuggle's and hugs in order to feel safe and loved. It's probably best to maintain as much space as possible and keep your home well ventilated and clean. Dr. Fauci stated in a release on 12/19/20 that excessive surface cleaning is not necessary to prevent the spread of the virus and that other measures such as handwashing, mask etc... are more effective. 

If you are super worried can you get a test sooner. Where I live they have drive-up places where you can get tested w/o a physician order or even suspicion of expose. They cost about $100.00 which is expensive but may well be worth your peace of mind!

I have had two high risk exposures and both times just tried as much a possible not to be in direct contact with my husband or son, but he's grown and understands why I wasn't giving him hugs. I don't know how I would handle being positive when he was little because he loved to climb all over me until he was about 6. We have talked about me going to stay in our cabin in the mountains if I had to quarantine!



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