KCHD announces changes to COVID-19 isolation, quarantine guidelines

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The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) on Tuesday, Dec. 28, announced COVID-19 isolation and quarantine period changes, falling in line with guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention protocols.

Effective immediately, guideline changes apply to those who have either tested positive for or have been exposed to COVID in certain scenarios. According to the CDC’s most recent scientific studies, most transmission happens early in the illness, generally in the first one to two days before symptom onset and two to three days thereafter.

Isolation guidelines for any individual testing positive for COVID, regardless of vaccination status:

  • Isolate for five days.
  • A person may leave isolation if they no longer have symptoms after five days.
  • Continue to mask for an additional five days.

New quarantine guidelines for an individual being exposed to someone with COVID:

  • People who are not vaccinated, or for whom it has been more than six months since they received the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or more than two months after they received the J&J vaccine, and who have not received a booster, should quarantine for five days followed by strict mask usage for five more days.
  • People who have received a booster do not need to quarantine following an exposure but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.
  • All people who have been exposed should be tested five days after exposure.
  • People who experience symptoms during quarantine should be tested for COVID and stay home until receiving a negative result.

“These new guidelines will mean less disruption to people’s lives and still slow the spread of the virus,” said Kent County Health Department Medical Director Dr. Nirali Bora. “However, COVID-19 cases and deaths remain unacceptably high. We encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms should be tested as soon as possible.”

Updated guidance applies to the general public and might not apply to residents of congregate living settings, schools or people who work with high-risk groups.

More information is on the CDC’s website.

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