People who tested positive for coronavirus are in recovery if they meet these criteria

Orange County health officer says patients must test negative twice before leaving isolation

Hospitals spreading hopeful messages during the coronavirus pandemic. (Image: Advent Health) (wkmg 2020)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – As more people in Florida test positive for COVID-19 driving up the statewide number above 10,200, not all of those people are still considered ill. There are multiple ways health officials can determine if a person has recovered from the respiratory illness and can leave isolation.

The Florida Department of Health releases coronavirus positive case numbers twice a day but those numbers don’t indicate how many people no longer have the virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease will run its course within about two weeks.

Health officer for the Orange County Florida Department of Health Dr. Raul Pino said he has been receiving questions about when coronavirus patients are considered in recovery.

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During a daily news briefing Friday, Pino explained what it means to be in recovery and when someone can leave isolation.

Here is the process:

  1. For anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they must be at least seven days from when they first developed symptoms, Pino said. Most people develop symptoms within seven days after being exposed to the virus but they can also appear up to 14 days from exposure, according to the CDC.
  2. Next, the patient needs to go 72 hours without a fever. The most common symptoms are fever and a dry cough. Their symptoms in general should be diminishing.
  3. Finally, a COVID-19 patient will need to take a coronavirus test twice and test negative both times within 24 hours.

At that point, Pino said, individuals should be safe to leave isolation.

Anyone who has not been tested for the virus and is in isolation because they traveled oversees, to certain hot spots in the U.S. or were exposed to a person who has the virus must self-isolate for 14 days.

According to data from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, more than 9,445 people have recovered in the U.S. from the virus.

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