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Though Symptoms May Persist, COVID-19 Reinfection Rare

The most recent CDC guidance says people can continue to test positive for COVID-19 up to three months after their initial diagnosis. But so far, those people don’t appear to be re-infected with the virus or contagious to others.

Dr. David Basel is the Vice President of Clinical Quality with Avera Medical Group. He says there have been very few instances of COVID-19 re-infection in the country.

“I do think we see a lot more people that get reactivation of symptoms," he explains on SDPB's In the Moment program. "There’s definite prolonged post-covid symptoms you can have that can come and go. I think we see a lot more of that than true reinfections.”

Dr. Basel  says most people with COVID-19 can be around others ten days after their symptoms developed.

“They still may test positive intermittently, because you’re body is still getting rid of detectable fragments of virus, but it’s not virus—we don’t think—that you can infect others with. So that’s good news.”

But research is ongoing. The CDC still recommends that everyone take precautions against spreading the coronavirus, regardless of a previous diagnosis. Those steps include washing hands, staying six feet apart from others, and wearing a mask.