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Just tested POSITIVE not quite three days into tour

My tour started on Sunday evening, June 12. I developed a dry, intemittent cough over the last two days. I self-tested each night, negative. This morning, I had a slightly sore throat, and a slight headache. I did not go to breakfast, and notified my tour guide. I self-tested again. this time, positive. I will stay here in Kinsale for 5 days, and am definitely off this tour. I hope to be cleard for another tour that starts on July 3. My current quest: getting a hold of Paxlovid here in Kinsale. I have to call back after two this afternoon, when the "Surgery" is open (this reminds me of watching "All Creatures Grat and Small."). My grandson is still testing negative, and has no symptoms, but he is newly boosted, and fifty years younger than I. To the best of my knowledge, no one else on tour has any symptoms. I did participate in a group meal last night, so the couple we sat with is undoubtedly concerned. We were unmasked during the meal. My grandson and I have been wearing masks everywhere during tour activities, even outside. My best guess is that I contrated this prior to the official start of the tour, when I was also obcessively masking. Luck of the draw! I do have Travel Guard Insurance, so that may help defray some of the extra cost. If my grandson remains negative, we will travel on our own in Ireland until we move on to London, our end of BOI tour plan.

Posted by
8496 posts

Anne, I am sorry this happened, but am impressed with your positive attitude and ability to see alternatives that can still allow for a positive trip.

Posted by
8496 posts

I did want to mention that you will want to get an “official” test done in addition to your self test. You will need this for travel insurance claims and if you want a certificate of recovery.

Posted by
638 posts

The recommendations for an official test (and as soon as possible) is spot on. Very sorry that you are sick and somewhat inconvenienced. Hope you recover soon.

Posted by
39 posts

I have a phone appointment with an MD tomorrow. The cost will be sixty Euros. I will try to set up local testing. Otherwise, I have to take a taxi to Cork, to the airport. Understandably, most places do not want Covid positive people walking into their businesses. I have managed to track down Pavloxid. The doctor tomorrow will prescribe it. The pharmacy is called Lloyd's. They do not have it in stock, so they have to order it, a lag of two precious days. This whole thing has been an opportunity to experience kindness from so many people. The hotel staff, who found me a place to go, the girl who worked at the supermarket next to the pharmacy who walked over to the pharmacy to see why we could not get through by phone, and the many people I talked to to try to get a prescription have all been over-the-top kind. My Rick Steves Tour Gude has also been helpful in every possible way. I would certainly not have chosen to get Covid on tour, or frankly, ever, but to experience kindness around every corner has been a blessing. My grandson is watching all of this happen, too, and learning a valuable lesson.

Posted by
130 posts

Anne:
So sorry to hear this; I hope you are doing ok and your grandson stays negative. My husband and I are taking this tour at the end of August, so I was keeping in eye out for any of your reports.

Take care, Cindy

Posted by
638 posts

I’m so happy you’re receiving kindness and thoughtfulness from others. You clearly showed this spirit of care for others in your original post. Your attitude is quite genuine and your approach to the situation is very progressive.

Everything will get better! Thanks for being (and sharing) the wonderful kind of individual that you are.

Posted by
221 posts

I took Paxlovid in April. I experienced the side effects of metallic taste, and muscle aches. Now they are linking it to rebound covid. My Dr. is considering not prescribing it as much due to this. I did test negative on the 13th day. I hope that everything goes well for you and that you will be able to enjoy the rest of your trip.

Posted by
6420 posts

Anne-
So sorry you are ill and hope you feel better soon

We tested positive a few days after we returned from Italy last month ( after negative tests to fly home)
I was pretty sick so my doc sent me for monoclonal antibody infusion
Felt better in 24 hours
Tested negative on Day 10

She would not prescribe Paxlovid due to the high incidence of interaction with other meds and the rebound issues

I would just advise you to check with your own physician before taking it especially if you take any other meds

Posted by
2091 posts

Thanks for sharing. It’s a great reminder for those heading out on group tours to be extra mindful. What type of masks did you wear outside?
I hope you feel better soon and can make your next tour.

Posted by
39 posts

My grandson and I were wearing Kf 94 and KN 95 masks almost 24/7. I am sure the group finds it ironic that one of us came down with Covid. We masked even outside. The timing of this makes me think I might have had Covid on Sunday, when the tour started, but just not enough to have any symptoms or show up on a self-test. It has been interesting and informative for me to hear about other people's experiences with Covid, and with Paxlovid. I wil email my Kaiser doctor for advice. I have a couple of days before it gets to the pharmacy. Thanks for all of your positve comments, and helpful suggestions.

Posted by
8496 posts

It is too late for the OP, but the challenge of getting an official test mid tour in some of the more remote locations is a solid reason to bring a proctored telemedicine kit with you, just in case. Anne is being very gracious in allowing us to learn from her experience.

Posted by
11373 posts

It can take almost a week after exposure to COVID-19 to have a positive test result.
If you are fully vaccinated, you should wait three to five days after exposure before getting a test. Evidence suggests that testing tends to be less accurate within three days of exposure. Wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until you get a negative test result.
If you aren’t fully vaccinated, quarantine right away after you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19. If you develop symptoms, get tested right away. Otherwise, wait five to seven days. ( https://nortonhealthcare.com/news/how-long-after-exposure-to-test-positive-for-covid/ )

When/where OP may have been exposed is obviously uncertain.

Hopefully OP will be able to get everything necessary done so she can join her next planned tour on July 3

(What if I've recently had COVID and test positive with my pre-tour test?
If you've had COVID between 14 - 90 days prior to the start of your tour, you may obtain a letter of recovery signed by your doctor that documents your illness and recovery. Bring this letter with you on tour and if your pre-tour test is positive show it to your guide.
) https://www.ricksteves.com/tours/coronavirus-faq

Good luck and hopefully it is only a mild case

Posted by
32 posts

Silver lining: Kinsale is beautiful and hopefully you can get out and walk around. Please eat at Fishy Fishy before you leave. Best salmon I’ve ever eaten!

Posted by
10288 posts

I tested positive eight days after my husband's first symptoms. My fever was already finished when I finally tested positive. There's no hard and fast rule about how much time elapses between exposure, symptoms, positive test. It's a wiley little bugger.

Posted by
39 posts

Saturday, June 18, Kinsale Update:
I am still isolating in Kinsale. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day, and I was able to walk a bit while avoiding other people. I did not antiipate how tired I would be, however! Not sure if it is Covid, or this is just from lying around indoors. A little more than a week ago I was working out on a treadmill every day! In any case, I could not get Paxlovid here. I do not meet their criteria as I am too healthy. This is a good problem to have, I guess. My Kaiser MD in California is keeping track of me, and the situation. She will write a letter of recovery when the time is right. I hope to get a PCR Test at Cork Airport, and yes, I am kicking myself for not bringing the Binax test kits I had ordered. I gleefully pulled those giant boxes from my luggage when the US requirement to test pre-return was dropped. Beyond stupid. I feel pretty well, with all my original symptoms pretty much gone except for my cough. That has morphed from a dry cough into a productive cough. My tour guide notifed Rick Steves about my Covid test, but I have not heard from them yet, so I emailed them today. I want to verify the conditions under which my grandson and I can, or cannot, join our next scheduled tour on July 3. Meanwhile, next week we hope to move on from our little Kinsale haven to see a few of the things we would have seen on our tour. I am feeling grateful to have time and funds available to regroup.

Posted by
8496 posts

Anne, so glad to hear that you and your grandson are doing ok. Your official positive test can be an antigen test, but it is crucial to getting that certificate of recovery. I hope you keep doing well and recover quickly.

Posted by
39 posts

Here is the sad continuation: Saturday evening, Kinsale. I asked my grandson to test yet again, and he tested positive. I then notified my tour guide, so that she would know, and found out that she, and four other tour members tested positive, and are off the tour in Dingle as of now. Needless to say, I feel responsible since I tested positve first. I know what that kind of disappointment feels like, and I would not wish it on any of my recent BOI Tour companions. We were an enthusiastic group with a great tour guide when we started out! I can only hope that everyone recovers quickly and fully.
Meanwhile, Orion and I have been listening to an enchanting live concert through our open windows here in Kinsale. We are living the Ireland life, vicariously, and looking forward to being able to move on with our travel lives. My grandson has zero symptoms, but he is a healthy eighteen-year old with a recent booster. He is still fully capable of passing on this virus, so we are resetting our "free to travel" clock. Per Kinsale Medical, we can travel with good masks (which we have been wearing since we left home), on Saturday, That means finding local lodging for 4 or 5 more days. I can only imagine that my name is mud in the Rick Steves Tour Office right about now. Patient zero on my Best of Ireland tour.

Posted by
8496 posts

Anne, I don't think you need to feel a great deal of guilt here. From what you have reported, you wore masks even more than required, and you tested whenever you thought there might be an issue. You isolated yourself as soon as you had the positive test and notified those around you. Sometimes, no matter what you do, Covid gets the upper hand.

I can understand why you feel badly for the others, but I don't think you should beat yourself up over a pandemic that is ongoing when you did the best you could in the circumstances.

Posted by
27336 posts

Aside from what Carol said, you cannot know for certain that the other COVID victims caught it from you. The incubation period varies. Maybe you just showed symptoms faster.

Posted by
39 posts

Hi Carla,
Thank you for your concern. My travel companion grandson is feeling 100% perfect, he says, although I think that his usual congestion has morphed into a slight runny nose. I feel pretty well. My only remaining concern, a cough that became more than a dry cough, seems to have dissipated this morning. It has been 4 full days since my positive test, so easily a week or more since I came down with this. I feel like I have pulled a muscle, but I have NO other complaints. As a fairly healthy 68-year old, I am feeling lucky to be doing so well. I am hoping that I do not end up with Long-Covid, but I am fully vacinated and boosted, if I do. I do highly recommend that you all carry a pulse oximeter with you when you travel. You can check your oxygen levels regularly by inserting your finger into the device. There is somethng reassuring about seeing that your breathng is well within optimal range, and if it isn't, you can seek medical care armed with some concrete evidence. It also helps to reassure family members at home. I forgot to bring a thermometer, but that would be good to have, too. I am going to pick one up at a pharmacy as soon as I am able to go inside one. I have not tackled Travel Insurance claims yet, or verified my situation with Rick Steves in terms of our next scheduled trip. I will work on that soon. My Travel Insurance should cover my Isolation Hotel bill. If I could change anything about my initial travel plan, it would be to schedule my next tour to allow a minimum two week gap between tours. I am going to sign up for the BOI tour again, most likely, for 2023. It is up to my grandson, as this was his choice.

Posted by
8496 posts

Anne, make sure you know what Travel Guard insurance requires for a claim before too much time goes by. I have a different company, but it would not accept a home test as proof. Yours may, but it is something you may want to clarify.

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks, Anne, for updating us and alerting us to your experience. It is a great help for us in our own planning. My family will be on this same tour July 1. Get well and wishing you happy travels once you recover.

Posted by
39 posts

Bring a few online monitoring test kids like Binax, an oximeter, and a digitl thermometer. Odds are you will all be fine, but if you get Covid, you wil not be able to get a PCR test right away because they won't test you in person when you are first testing positive. I have Travel Guard, and I know they want a PCR test, but I have not been able to get one so far. Frustrating. I know that Rick Steves will refund me the missed tour days for both my grandson and me, but I have not heard from their business office about that yet, either. Rick Steves will accept my guide's verification of the antigen test results, and the decision as to timing of leaving the tour. If all else fails, I will be out of pocket the other costs. I could have avoided this by making space for a Binax Now box or two. Hindsight! I hope that everyone's tours are going well at this point. We will take Letters of Recovery from Kaiser to our July 3, 2022, BOE Tour. We may still test positive on July 3, but with our documentation and letters, we can go on the tour. So relieved to know that!
Anne

Posted by
163 posts

Thank you, Anne, for sharing your Covid and tour experience with all of us. You did everything you could have to prevent it and spread it to others. The details you provided answered all the questions I have about catching and dealing with Covid on a tour.

We were on the Andalucia tour in May and did have to test before returning to U.S. Luckily nobody on our tour caught Covid. I have learned so much since then about taking additional precautions (like bringing the Binax test kit) so thanks again for your detailed posting.
Happy Travels on your BOE tour next month.

Posted by
8496 posts

Great news about your July 3 tour. You are sharing an important life lesson with your grandson by modeling flexibility and resilience. Neither of you will forget this time together, even though it didn’t go as planned.

Posted by
144 posts

Carol, So sorry to hear you have missed your tour. Happy to hear you haven't been real sick and your grandson has no symptoms. Glad you will be able to join your next tour July3.
I have a question on the COVID tests.. I sent away and received free tests in the mail actually twice. We received so many Binax test kits and I plan to bring several on our tour in August.. my question are they all the same type of tests? Or does Binax make different ones? Some of our kits came in the BIG boxes from Binax and some are very small boxes.
Thanks in advance and enjoy your BOE tour..

Posted by
8 posts

Anne I hope you and your grandson are both feeling well by now and off to more adventures! I had to cancel my Ireland trip, getting ill and testing positive too close to my departure date to be able to keep my flight. Fever + positive test, and a 5 day rx means no, for a flight in 2 days. I am on Paxlovid-- yes there are some rebounds noted in the literature but my doc reassured me that a)he'd let me choose if I had hestitation, and b) it had good evidence for reducing the liklihood of severity. Thanks for the advice to bring a thermometer, pulse ox and tests. I was only planning 1 of the 3 and now, feelng the ups and downs of being ill, would definitely find those a comfort if I were ill anywhere but here now in my home. I've filed my claim for trip cancellation, and hope to at least apply a RS credit to see Ireland some day. I'm so glad you had that sweet concert outside the window, and the kindness of all you encountered. Your flexible and positive attitude must have brought some of those good vibes your way! Here's to your full recovery and happy travels.

Posted by
39 posts

Hi Bernie,
How disappointing! I think that getting Covid on tour would be worse than getting it just before the tour starts, but it is not anyone's dream at any time. I am glad that you are coping from the comfort of home, and could get the medication that I could not get in Ireland. Rick Steves promptly refunded my credit card for 11 days each of the tour cost for my grandson and me. I used that money to pay for extra hotels, extra flights, and coping with Covid from inside of a hotel room. I was also able to pay for a deposit for a tour next year with a granddaughter, and I used some of the funds toward the extra London expenses. I hope that you are able to book another tour soon. Orion and I tested positive on PCR's from London, where we flew directly from Cork once we had complied with the isolation requirements in Ireland. We could no longer fly from Belfast, and getting there involved 6 or more hours of public transit via bus and train. That made no sense. Orion tested negative on an Antigen test even before I did, and even I tested negative on an antigen test about two weeks after my first positve test. We were able to make our second tour, Best of Europe in 21 days, as both of us had Covid at least two weeks in advance and could produce negative tests on Day 1. I also acquired a Letter of Recovery form my Kaiser doctor as backup. We are on Day 2 of that tour now, and feeling well. We are continuing to wear masks on all public transit, and indoor activities, including indoor tour activities. Our guide makes sure that indoor spaces are ventilated to the extent possible, and he models mask wearing at those times. I saw few people wearing masks in London, and I see very few people wearing masks here in Amsterdam. I doubt that the pandemic will go away, but I do not expect lockdowns or extensive mask-wearing to be mandated in most European countries anytime soon. Those of us who travel will need to err on the side of caution. Best wishes for a rapid recovery!
Anne

Posted by
14153 posts

Anne! So happy to hear you are now on the 21 day Best of Europe and feeling great!

Thanks for updating us and I hope your guide is Dimitri whom I dearly love!

As to the Binax Now box being so big....on my last Road Scholar tour one of hte members was a virologist who had spent a career developing assay test kits. She said the company gets the auth from the CDC based on the whole package and that there is no real reason for the big plastic tray. She said for the non-proctored tests it was fine to put them in a smaller container. For the proctored tests, they have to be left in the original sealed container.

Posted by
46 posts

I contracted Covid on tour of Greece in May. Lessons I learned: I hope you purchased good Covid insurance before departure. . sure to get your diagnosis certified by a doctor or at a pharmacy. Insurance carriers don't accept your self-test. Then make sure to get a test on recovery the same way, via doctor or pharmacy. RS's insurance will help you arrange this if your tour guide has not already done so. Use them to the fullest. You have to realize that you (and others) are contagious up to 4 days before symptoms show up. I tested positive on the 4th day of the tour. Likely contracted either on the plane or in the airport even though we all wore masks. Some people who are asymptomatic (perhaps a headache or fatigue) don't test, so they don't know they have it. Others can act in ways that infect others without realizing it. Keep track of the 4 day window if you want to know if you infected others (and your grandson). Good luck. You can still have a good experience if your symptoms are not bad, you get cleared by a health professional to travel, and you are willing to do things on your own. I wish you all the best. My Greece tour was not very much fun, but we did enjoy ourselves as best we could when we were on our own.

Posted by
226 posts

I came down with COVID while in LA and my Grandfather in LA got it. My Parents are recovering. I feel your pain Anne. Its mild in our case doubly boosted

We are going to Europe in August first to Lindon then on a British Isles Cruise. From there we fly to Paris for a week, Prague for 8 nights and then Israel for 12 Days .

You are lucky that you are in Kinsale and not Beijing.

Sending your Grandson and you healing thougts!