What is the level of COVID risk of this trip?
March 14, 2021 2:44 PM   Subscribe

Thinking of taking a trip to grandma's house and want to gauge risk. Kind of an inverted risk situation because they have had COVID.

My wife and I have two small children. We've largely been by ourselves this entire pandemic and have tried to be very careful. We only rarely go indoors anywhere, and if we do it's alone and double masked. My wife has gotten two doses of vaccine and is two weeks past the second dose. I've gotten one dose so far.

We were thinking of going to grandma's house for a few days. We had been bubbling with them before, but since the new variants started popping up, we haven't seen them except one time distanced and outside in January.

Both grandpa and grandma tested positive for COVID two weeks ago. Grandpa still works, grandma is retired. Grandpa drives a truck and the other guy who drives the truck during the day tested positive for COVID. Even though they wipe down the truck between drivers, our guess is that there was enough inundating the cab to infect grandpa, and then he infected grandma. Both had mild cases, neither ever had a fever, and aside from lingering coughs and lack of sense of taste, they're symptom free.

According to the CDC, you're not contagious if you don't have a fever and it's been more than 10 days since onset of symptoms, which this is. And it seems unlikely that their house could still be contaminated at this point.

But Grandpa went back to work two days ago. Even though he has had it, we're wondering if it would be possible for him to get reinfected and bring it back to us while we're at their house?

Before we go, how safe is this trip really?
posted by cali59 to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
Sounds like the CDC says it is safe. I would agree it's safe, though id be a bit more comfortable at 3 weeks than 2 weeks from first positive test.
posted by bbqturtle at 2:49 PM on March 14, 2021

The CDC says that 88% of specimens did not have replication-competent viruses after 10 days and 95% after 14 days. (finding #2). Furthermore reports of reinfection are rare (finding #5). In summary they say: Available data indicate that adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 remain infectious no longer than 10 days after symptom onset

So, Grandpa is probably not infectious from the case that he had. He has built up antibodies (at some level) and even if reexposed on his first day back, would probably not be have built up a significant viral load.

Also, you need to consider if your family has any risk factors that would make catching COVID more likely to be catastrophic. If you and your wife are healthy 40 year olds then the risk is better that even if you got it, it wouldn't be bad. If someone in your family has a major health risk, then the risk/reward ratio shifts dramatically.

That said, I know my house is trying to be extra careful not get COVID now that we can hope to be fully vaccinated in the next couple of months.
posted by metahawk at 5:49 PM on March 14, 2021

Several very-unlikely things would have to happen together for this trip to harm your family.

You are all pretty much as safe as you're going to get for the intermediate future - there's nothing to wait for at this point.

Have a good time.
posted by Dashy at 7:38 PM on March 14, 2021 [3 favorites]

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