Any advice on how soon to retest after attending a large, indoor gathering in which all were vax’d, boosted and passed same day home tests?

Some or many may be getting tired of these questions but if anyone has an opinion they’re not tired of sharing I’d much appreciate hearing from you … especially any of you medical practitioners and researchers (who surely must be the most tired of these questions by now).

Yesterday my wife, myself and a couple dozen friends had a wonderful dinner party at the large home of one of them. As stated, all are vaccinated and boosted and we all had negative results on self administered, same day tests. To be prudent we want to test again but are wondering if there is an optimal time after the party to retest? All I could find online was the likelihood that symptoms might first appear a few days to two weeks after infection. This was by far the most daring, normal and wonderful social event we’ve experienced since this all began.

I’m not so sure about how often we should include more such events, especially where we don’t know everyone as well as we did at last night’s Christmas party.

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A spreader event from Norway - the Oslo party - has been in the news.

around 70 % of just over 100 participants at a Christmas party held on 26 November at a restaurant in Oslo have been subsequently diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2. Of those who are infected, 17 are confirmed as being infected with the omicron variant. It is assumed that the majority of cases without sequencing results available at this time are also infected with the same variant. In addition, more than 60 people who visited the restaurant the same evening as the Christmas party have been confirmed as infected with SARS-CoV-2. …there was widespread transmission at this event, even though the vast majority of participants were vaccinated with two doses of an mRNA vaccine

I’m not sure that life will return to normal in my lifetime, even with vaccines and boosters.

I don’t know, but it’s great that you are remaining vigilant.

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How to react? Eze peezy. Fever, headache, difficulty breathung.

In part I’d say it depends on who and when you’re likely to be transmitting to if you are infected. If you’re going to visit vulnerable people in two days, I’d do a rapid test (if available) immediately before. If you’re just worried about transmitting within your household and only want to test once, I’d probably test after 4 days. I think the CDC says 5-7 days, but the mean serial interval (time between symptom onset for successive infections) for Delta is probably between 4 and 5 days. That seems like a reasonable way to maximize your chance of catching an infection before transmitting. Or test twice, once after 2.5 days and once after a week.


I suspect it will return to a new normal with a second vaccine to get every year ( or twice yearly) in addition to the flu shot (and Shingrix and the pneumonia vaccines, depending). I wonder if we’ll. Ever eradicate another disease or if they’ll all become endemic now that Google makes us all ‘experts’.

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I hope that proves useful to others. Exactly what I was looking for but unable to find. Thanks!


I think that with the 2-shot Shingrix vax you’re good for life. And if you’ve been vaxxed against chicken pox you don’t need it at all.

I’m not sure whether I’ve had both shingles doses. More likely just the first. No idea if I had chicken pox or not but I clearly remember being told I never had the mumps. I hear that can be a much more unpleasant experience later in life than as a young fellow. Naturally there isn’t anyone around likely to remember that or confirm anything now.

The old shingles vax was single-dose, but then they developed a new two-dose one that works much better. I got them all, because shingles sounds awful!! You should find out what you got.

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That I can still do. I will.

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Mark, at the risk of creating an awkward silence, God bless you for the thoughtful way you and your friends handled this party and you pursuit of follow up testing.


The vaccine seemed to do next to nothing here in stopping the spread of it but the silver lining is that none of them were hospitalized!

MarkD - I’m not a physician or healthcare professional but am a scientist and have been involved in Covid-19 work since the beginning of the pandemic. An excellent source of practical information from a healthcare professional is a daily blog called Pandemic Pondering from Dr. Baker at Univ Michigan. He provides context and perspective on all things Covid and I’ve found his information to be non-political, practical, and accurate.

From my perspective, I would ask - Why do you want to know if you may have contracted Covid? Since you have been vaccinated/boosted, there is nothing more you can do to protect yourself. If have pre-exisitng medical conditions that put you at high risk, and you should develop symptoms that may be Covid, it would seem prudent to get tested since there are now also anti-viral therapies that one can take and are effective in early stages of Covid to prevent severe outcomes. Otherwise, live your life…which we all need to do. Regarding the Oslo Christmas party suppers-reader event mentioned by someone else, the last report I read said no one had severe symptoms and no one had been hospitalized, and I suspect few people had any symptoms but were tested as part of the contact-tracing efforts.


He is being vigilant and wants to know if perhaps he has a breakthrough case. And of course, he wants to protect others.

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Mostly I want to know that I can visit my niece and nephew without risk of infecting them, but others too. They’ve had the first dose of vaccine and have caught it once after that.

I feel it is still worthwhile to be as cautious as possible for my and my wife’s sake. She is pretty fragile medically so if I bring anything to her it wouldn’t be good. In addition, long term effects scare me.


You are right to be scared about short or long term effects.

Most immunologists consider having been infected with SARS-CoV-2 to provide substantial future protection from severe disease, though like vaccination does not make re-infection impossible. Adding vaccination to having been infected is like having a booster following primary vaccination because it wakes up your immune system and re-sensitizes it to a key SARS-CoV-2 antigen (spike protein).

It sounds like you are approaching the situation with caution and that is good.

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Being ‘vigilant’ is a loaded term. Of course, we all want to do the right thing and not be reckless. Keep in mind that ‘breakthrough case’ is defined by CDC/public health as anyone who tests positive regardless of whether they have Covid symptoms or not. There may be a risk to a unvaccinated person who he comes into close contact with, especially if they would be at high risk for poor outcomes if infected. That risk could be managed by selectively preventing interaction with such individuals, if known. We simply can not manage our lives around those who may be unvaccinated at this stage of the pandemic. There will never be 100% vaccination of the population, nor even if there were, 100% protection for those vaccinated. At some point, risk/benefit needs to be calculated relative to all other health risks.

Not true. A “vaccine breakthrough infection.” is the infection of a fully vaccinated person.
See this CDC info

Probably should have mentioned that we followed @glipsnort ‘s advice and retested (negative) four days after the party. I find a lot of peace in knowing I’m not passing it along to anyone else and we were able to have a pretty normal social event. Don’t think we’ll look to maximize such events but we are going to a performance of a friend’s chorus Saturday at which both the chorus and audience will be masked and carded.

I’m considering whether to rely on my preferred surgical masks which never fog my glasses or look for a better fitting N95.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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