BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – As of Wednesday, May 18, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is reporting 1,260 new coronavirus cases across the state and a total of 114 COVID-related hospitalizations.

Based on these statistics, it’s clear that COVID-19 is still a cause for concern.

In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a highly contagious subvariant of Omicron known as BA.2.1.21 has become the dominant strain of coronavirus nationwide. 

So, as the number of COVID cases continues to rise across the U.S., many wonder what they should do if they test positive for the virus. 

Essentially, most medical experts agree that at this time the appropriate response is to quarantine for five days and, if by day 6 you have no fever and improved symptoms, then you can exit isolation as long as you wear a well-fitting N95, KN95 or KF94 mask. 

The CDC has more detailed direction, which is listed below:

-Stay home for at least five days

This means isolating yourself from other people, including those who may live with you, for the duration of the five day period. If you have to be around others, then wear a well-fitting mask. 

-On day six end isolation if you do not have symptoms and do not have a weakened immune system

This means that if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving. But, if you have a weakened immune system or got very sick from COVID-19, you should continue to isolate for a minimum of ten days and consult a physician before ending isolation.

-Take precautions for ten more days

For the next ten days, wear a well-fitting mask any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you cannot wear a mask. It is also recommended that you do not travel until a full ten days after your symptoms started or the date your positive test was taken if you had no symptoms. 

Experts say that most individuals who are vaccinated reduce the likelihood of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. While vaccination is often a great help in reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19, many healthcare professionals also recommend wearing an N95 or equivalent mask while in public and same-day testing before gatherings. 

Click here for more information from LDH on COVID-19 in Louisiana.