The Black Hawk County Health Department has updated guidance to reflect the alternative COVID-19 Quarantine Guidelines.
The 14 day quarantine period remains the most effective option to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19, and the Black Hawk County Health Department continues to recommend that anyone who needs to quarantine following an exposure to COVID-19 quarantine at home for the full 14 days after exposure if they are able to. However for those who are unable to quarantine for the full 14 days after exposure, the following CDC guidance provides alternatives to shorten the quarantine period.
o Quarantine may end after day 10 without testing if the person has not developed any symptoms following exposure, continues to monitor for symptoms for the full 14 days after exposure, and wears a face covering when outside of the home for the full 14 days after exposure.
o Quarantine may end after day 7 if the person has tested negative by a PCR test collected at least 5 days after last exposure to the positive case, has not developed symptoms following exposure, continues to monitor for symptoms for the full 14 days after exposure, and wears a face covering when outside of the home for the full 14 days after exposure. The negative test must have been received prior to ending quarantine, for example if test results are still pending on day 8 the person must continue to be in quarantine until they receive their test results.
o Persons can discontinue quarantine at these time points only if the following criteria are also met:
Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
If they have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact their local public health authority or healthcare provider.
Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash their hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
o If at any time after ending quarantine the person develops symptoms of COVID-19 they must start isolating at home immediately, and contact their health care provider about being tested.
o Individuals in quarantine should separate from others in their household as much as possible, stay in a separate area of the home away from others, wear a face covering when they need to be around others in the home, use a separate bathroom if available, and practice regular cleaning of high touch and shared surfaces.
This change does not apply to the 10 day isolation period for people who have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, the change in guidance does not alter the close contact definition to determine who should quarantine following an exposure to COVID-19. Close contact is still defined as someone who was within 6ft of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 or more consecutive minutes when one or both individuals were not wearing a face covering.
The full guidance document can be found in the Resources section of the Black Hawk COVID-19 website.