Should you get tested for COVID-19 even if you're vaccinated? Doctors say yes in these scenarios

SAN FRANCISCO -- With the Delta variant and breakthrough cases of COVID-19 reported, some vaccinated people are wondering when, if at all, they should get tested.

Health officials say there are at least two scenarios in which someone who is fully vaccinated should still get tested for COVID-19.

The first is if you're experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

RELATED: Doctors say the Bay Area 'could avoid' another lockdown if mask mandate is reinstated

Dr. Peter Chin-Hong is a professor of medicine and infectious disease specialist at UCSF.

"Early on you're going to have symptoms very much like symptoms of a cold, runny nose, stuffy nose, tickle at the back of the throat, sore throat, these may progress into fever and muscle aches," said Dr. Chin-Hong.

Dr. Chin-Hong says for those who are already vaccinated, a minority of people will have more respiratory symptoms, like shortness of breath or more gastrointestinal symptoms, which he says are likely to come later on as opposed to initially.

The second scenario for testing is if someone has a known intensive exposure to someone else with COVID-19, he says that means for more than 15 minutes and less than six feet apart.

RELATED: CDC reverses course on indoor masks in some parts of US

In that type of exposure Dr. Chin-Hong says you might not even wait for symptoms to get tested.

"It's better to be safe than sorry because you really want to protect the people around you," said Dr. Chin-Hong. "I will tell and advise many individuals to have a very low threshold for testing. We have a lot of testing still available right now."

Regarding going back to work, he says if a coworker who sits seven desks away from you and whom you never interact with gets COVID-19, you don't necessarily need to get tested.

Marin County tells ABC7 News it has more testing sites now than ever before with several commercial pharmacies and local urgent care units.

Bay Area counties including Marin, San Francisco, Alameda and Santa Clara County have a list of testing providers on their websites.

Take a look at all of ABC7's Building a Better Bay Area stories and videos here.

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