COVID-19 in 2023: What Now?
As we begin 2023, it’s safe to say the rules for COVID-19 have changed. Required mask-wearing and social distancing are largely a thing of the past. People have returned to crowded shopping malls, sold-out stadiums, and busy workplaces in droves. However, COVID-19 is still present.
Despite all the progress we’ve made in fighting COVID-19 through vaccines, boosters, and treatments, the virus is still a threat to our communities. An average of 12,000+ Floridians a week test positive—even now. And the World Health Organization says the latest offshoot of the Omicron variant, XXB.1.5, is the most transmissible version of COVID-19 yet.
So, where do we go from here? How can we stop the spread of COVID-19 in 2023? From COVID-19 prevention guidelines to COVID-19 predictions for 2023, count on MD Now to provide the answers you need.
How We Got Here
Nearly 1,000 days have passed since March 2020, when COVID-19 first entered our lives. Since then, the virus and our knowledge of it have both evolved tremendously. The availability of COVID-19 vaccines was also a huge turning point.
In August 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stopped recommending social distancing as a way to combat COVID-19 and shifted COVID-19 prevention guidelines to prioritize vaccines and boosters. To date, nearly 79% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Major health findings for COVID-19 in 2022 revolved around new variants of the virus, specifically the rapidly-spreading Omicron variant. One thing is certain as we kick off another year: COVID-19 testing remains pivotal to protecting us all.
COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines for 2023
If you are experiencing symptoms and think you might have COVID-19, you should isolate yourself until you get tested and receive your results.
But what does it mean to test positive for COVID-19 in 2023, now that mask requirements are gone and life is essentially back to normal? The answer hasn’t changed, according to the CDC. After testing positive, you should still isolate yourself from others for five days.
During this time:
- Wear a high-quality mask if you MUST be around others
- Separate from others in your home as much as you can, including using a separate bathroom if possible
- Do not travel
- Do not share personal items with anyone
- Improve ventilation in your home by opening windows or using fans to improve air flow
- Monitor your symptoms and seek medical care if needed
After Five Days
If your symptoms improve after five days, you may discontinue isolation. If they do not, continue to isolate yourself until you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) AND your symptoms are improving.
Regardless of when you end isolation, avoid contact with anyone at high risk for COVID-19 complications, including the elderly (age 65 and up), people with weakened immune systems, and people with lung issues (such as asthma or COPD). You should also wear a high-quality mask indoors at home and in public for 10 days after a positive test.
Testing After COVID-19 Exposure
Perhaps you recently spent time with a family member, friend, or co-worker who tested positive for COVID-19. Does it make a difference if you’ve already had COVID-19 or were vaccinated with the latest booster?
Here’s some good news for 2023: if you were only exposed to the COVID-19 virus, you may carry on as usual unless you begin to experience symptoms or test positive. However, the CDC still suggests wearing a mask around anyone at high risk.
COVID-19 Testing at MD Now
Whether you have symptoms or suspect you were exposed to the virus, MD Now offers both rapid and PCR COVID-19 testing at all 75+ of our state-of-the-art urgent care clinics.
Rapid antigen testing at MD Now provides you with fast and accurate COVID-19 results in approximately 15 minutes. For PCR testing, MD Now has partnered with the leading national CLIA-certified lab to provide results in 48 hours or less. Our physician-led team of healthcare professionals will conduct your test, notify you of the results, and begin your treatment if necessary.
Yes, We Can Test and Treat You During the Same Visit
Your time is just as valuable to us as it is to you. At MD Now, you can find out if you’re positive and be treated for the virus all in one visit. If your rapid antigen test is positive, you may be eligible to receive oral antiviral medication to help lessen the effects of COVID-19 at select locations.
Get High-Quality Healthcare Right Now
Most COVID-19 2023 predictions include new variants and (hopefully) new treatments. For the latest information, convenient COVID-19 testing, COVID-19 prevention tips, and so much more, visit your nearest MD Now clinic.
MD Now has provided high-quality healthcare in Florida for over 15 years. No appointment is necessary—just walk in! Together, we’ll fight COVID-19 in 2023 and beyond.