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I have Covid or am a close contact: sixth wave of pandemic FAQS

Booster shot available a month after infection while requesting sick leave possible from home

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25 January 2022 06:51 PM

by

Guifré Jordan|Barcelona

The sixth wave of Covid-19 has led to an explosion of cases, around 30,000 per day recently, and as more people become infected or are close contacts, questions over quarantines, certificates, vaccinations, and more are arising.

Catalan News has put together a guide with the most frequently asked questions regarding this topic for people living in Catalonia. You can contribute to expanding it if you find there is anything missing by contacting us at catalannews@acn.cat. All of the information below comes from official sources.

Last updated: January 25, 2022

What are the typical symptoms of Covid-19, especially with the omicron variant?

99% of recent positives are omicron. The main symptoms include sore throat, runny nose and fatigue. Headaches or mild fever are also frequent, while the loss of taste and smell are not. This strain is more contagious than delta, but symptoms are usually milder, with just a very small share of people hospitalized being infected with omicron as of January 5.

How can I avoid getting the disease?

Authorities have enforced rules and recommendations to prevent transmissions. The latest version of them is here.

I have symptoms that are compatible with Covid-19. What should I do?

You have several options: either call the public health hotline, 061, to report this, or get in touch with your local primary care center (CAP/CUAP) by going in person, calling, or leaving a message through 'eConsulta' option in 'La Meva Salut'. A professional will decide whether you are eligible for either a PCR or an antigen test.

Alternatively, and this may be the quickest way, you can buy an antigen self-test in a pharmacy that has not run out of them. This, however, is not the most certain path as these tests are not as accurate as PCRs.

I've tested positive with a self-test bought in a pharmacy. What should I do next?

If you have no symptoms or mild ones, self-isolate at home for seven days counting from the moment when you first had symptoms or from the day you tested positive if you have no symptoms. If you get worse and have trouble breathing or fever for three days that does not drop with antipyretics or you are pregnant, just gave birth or have any other condition that lowers your defenses, call 061 or go to a CAP/CUAP.

No further tests are needed to prove you are positive but bear in mind that an antigen test does not grant access to a Covid recovery certificate as only PCR tests do.

Do I have to report my positive result to the health system?

Doing so is advised. You have three ways to do it: with an 'eConsulta' in La Meva Salut, mentioning the brand of the self-test and the date when it was performed; through the website citasalut.gencat.cat, section 'Símptomes de la Covid-19', mentioning the brand of the self-test; or calling – and not going in person – one of the pharmacies in this list. They will report it to the health authorities.

Why is it important to report your positive result?

Not only will you help the health department better track the evolution of the pandemic, but you will also be able to notify close contacts and ask for sick leave – from home. When reporting your result, you will receive an SMS to enter ContacteCovid.cat, where you will be able to ask for your sick leave and submit the names and phone numbers of those you think are close contacts.

Am I a close contact?

You are, as long as you have shared a space with a person with Covid-19 under two meters away from each other, for more than 15 minutes, without face masks, and within the 48 hours before this person tested positive.

If you have not been vaccinated or you have and have symptoms compatible with Covid-19, you have to quarantine for seven days.

If you have been vaccinated and do not have any symptoms, you do not need to quarantine, but be aware of possible symptoms arising.

How do I self-isolate?

Do not leave the areas you designate for your quarantine, you must not receive visits, wash your hands very frequently, use the inner part of your elbow to cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze, and ventilate your room for ten minutes at least three times a day.

If you live with other people, they have to avoid entering your room, and if they have to, they must always wear face masks and gloves. Everyone has to wash their hands with soap or sanitizer, and your home has to be correctly ventilated, especially in shared areas.

have tested positive. When do I have to wait for my next Covid vaccine?

If you are 65 or younger and unvaccinated you can get your first dose four weeks after recovering from Covid and a second dose three to four weeks later, depending on the vaccine brand. Under 65s who get Covid after having their first dose can get a second dose four weeks after recovering. A four-week wait also applies to booster shots for those 65 and younger who are eligible, currently over 40s who received an AstraZeneca vaccine, or those who received the single-shot Janssen vaccine, regardless of their age.

People older than 65 who test positive for Covid are able to get a vaccine once they have recovered, regardless of whether it is their first, second, or booster shot.

On January 25, authorities in Spain updated their advice. They recommend waiting five months before getting a booster shot after testing positive.

What do I have to do in order to get my Covid recovery certificate?

After recovering from Covid-19, you will find your Covid-19 recovery certificate at La Meva Salut – people who have been inoculated will also have their vaccination one.

Yet, you will get it only if you have tested positive with a PCR test, as established by the EU. Unvaccinated people who were diagnosed with antigen tests and reported it to authorities will not have access to a certificate at least until six months later when they will be able to get their jab. 

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  • Antigen tests in a pharmacy on December 17, 2021 (by Gerard Vilà)

  • Antigen tests in a pharmacy on December 17, 2021 (by Gerard Vilà)

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