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Answers to critical questions about ensuring others are safe after you recover

The COVID-19 rapid testing facility at North Shore

The COVID-19 rapid testing facility at North Shore Hebrew Academy last November in Great Neck. Credit: Howard Schnapp

It's the critical decision that roughly 20 million Americans who have been infected with COVID-19 have had to face. They've tested positive for the novel coronavirus, recovered and are ready to end their quarantine. Now what? How do they know when it's safe? What's the protocol for seeing friends and family and going back to work? And what about taking another test?

Here are some key questions about what to do next after recovering from coronavirus:

When can I end my quarantine and start seeing other people after recovering from COVID?

What if I tested positive but experienced no symptoms?

What if I had close contact with someone with COVID-19 but did not test positive?

Do I need a negative COVID test before ending my quarantine?

What if I was severely ill with COVID and am immunocompromised? Do the same rules apply?

Now that I have recovered from COVID, do I still need to wear a mask, practice social distancing and avoid large crowds?

How soon can I can take the antibody test?

If I recovered from COVID, should I still take the vaccine?