BALTIMORE (WJZ) — When Kabria Newkirk returned home after two weeks in the hospital fighting COVID-19, the last thing on her mind was getting outside.

Her mother and other family members delivered food and other necessities to her front door. Everyone took great care to socially distance while Newkirk was isolating and recovering from the virus.

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“You have to have a plan for recovery,” Dr. Sara Keller, Infectious Disease Specialist at Johns Hopkins, said.

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But weeks after she returned from the hospital, Newkirk looked at what her next steps looked like beyond her front door.

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Now, Dr. Keller and her colleagues at Hopkins are releasing guidance for recovering COVID patients as they look to life outside of isolation and without posing a risk to others.

Dr. Keller told WJZ Thursday, recovering patients should meet the following criteria before they look to partake in activities like visiting the grocery store with a mask on:

  • If the patient has gone 72 hours without a fever or without taking a medication to reduce the fever and
  • If there’s been at least 10 days past, since the date of the positive test.

Only then, said Dr. Keller, do “we think that the likelihood of them spreading the infection is low enough that they can get back to doing activities.”

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Annie Rose Ramos