Contra Costa County Adopts Shorter Isolation and Quarantine Periods for the General Public
Wednesday, January 5, 2022
Starting tomorrow, Contra Costa County will align with state guidance that recommends shorter isolation and quarantine periods for people infected with or exposed to COVID-19.
Under the state guidance, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, can end their isolation period after five days if they subsequently test negative and don't have symptoms or their symptoms are improving. The test must be done on or after day 5 of isolation. Previously, the isolation period for positive cases was 10 days.
Quarantine periods for people exposed to someone with COVID-19 have also been shortened to five days under certain circumstances. For unvaccinated people and those not up-to-date on their COVID vaccinations (eligible for a booster but haven't gotten one), quarantine can end after day 5 with a negative test.
People who have gotten a booster shot or are up-to-date on their COVID vaccinations—meaning they're fully vaccinated but not yet eligible for a booster — do not have to quarantine following an exposure. However, they should get tested 5 days after they were exposed to be safe.
Over-the-counter antigen tests can be used to end isolation and quarantine. Even if people test out of quarantine or isolation, they should wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings.
People unable to get tested during quarantine or isolation should remain at home for up to 10 days.
These state guidelines are for the general public and not healthcare workers, who have their own isolation and quarantine guidance. K-12 students and workers should also check with their schools and employers about requirements for returning to school or work since state guidance may differ for those settings.
"The state's new guidelines for the community strike a good balance between protecting public health while minimizing disruptions to our essential workforce," said Dr. Ori Tzvieli, deputy health officer for Contra Costa County. "Aligning with the state guidelines also minimizes confusion so there aren't different rules in Contra Costa than what is being recommended by the California Department of Public Health."
The County will be rescinding its previous local isolation and quarantine orders and aligning with the state's isolation-and-quarantine guidance starting Thursday, Jan.6 at 12:01 a.m.
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