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(January 13, 2022 10:17 AM)  The Jackson County Health Department has issued an update of quarantine and isolation guidance:

At the end of December, the CDC announced an update to their quarantine and isolation guidance.   Further clarification and an update from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on managing COVID-19 exposures in K-12 school settings came out early this week.  In response to the updates from federal and state authorities, the Jackson County Health Department has also updated our quarantine and isolation guidance.

It is important to understand the definitions of the terms used in the guidance documents

·       Isolation:  You isolate when you are sick or know you are infected with the virus.

·       Quarantine: You quarantine when you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 and are waiting to see if you get sick.

·       Fully Vaccinated:  Someone is considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after having received the 2nd  dose of a mRNA vaccine or 2 weeks after a single dose vaccine.

·       Up to Date with Vaccines: Someone who has received all COVID-19 vaccines they are eligible to receive. (primary series and boosters) The CDC, MDHHS and the JCHD do recommend a booster shot, 5 months after the second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or 2 months after a J&J vaccine.

·       Close Contact:  Someone who was less than 6 ft. away from an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period.

Regardless of whether you are isolating or in quarantine, counting days is important.  If you are isolating, Day 0 is the first day you had symptoms, or if you do not have symptoms, it is the day the sample (test) was taken that showed you were positive for COVID.  If you are quarantining, Day 0 is the last day you were in contact with someone with COVID.  For example, when the guidance refers to 10 days that means 10 complete 24 hour periods.

Guidance for isolating is the same regardless of vaccination status. 

·       Stay home for 5 days. 

·       If after 5 full days you have been fever free for 24 hours and other symptoms (if you had any) have improved, you can go out but need to wear a well-fitted mask from day 6 through 10.  You should avoid travel and being around people who are at high risk. 

Taking an at home test on day 5, and getting a negative result, adds extra assurance that you no longer have a high viral load and are no longer contagious to others.

Your vaccination status affects what you do if you have been exposed to someone with COVID. 

·       If you are up to date on your vaccines or had COVID in the last 90 days – you do not have to quarantine. 

·       If you are not up to date or are unvaccinated- quarantine at home for 5 days. 

·       Everyone should;

o   get tested on day 5,

o   watch for symptoms for 10 days,

o   wear a well-fitted mask for 10 days,

o   avoid travel and being around people who are high risk. 

·       If at any time during the 10-day monitoring period you develop symptoms, begin isolation as listed above.

The update to this guidance is based on the idea that most people will be most contagious early in the course of illness and most who develop symptoms will do so within a few days of having been exposed. If you are immunocompromised, are feeling worse after 5 days, or would normally be around people who are at high risk of complications from COVID, completing a full 10 days of isolation or quarantine is still the safest and provides the maximum protection against spreading the virus. 

The complete details of isolation and quarantine for the general public are listed on the CDC website.  There are special considerations for congregate living settings and healthcare workers.  The MI Safer Schools Guidance for Managing COVID-19 Exposures in K-12 School Settings includes some additional steps to help keep children safe and in school. 

As COVID becomes part of life, we all need to know how to take responsibility for keeping our family, friends and community safe.  During November and December, Jackson County had some of the highest daily case counts of any time during the pandemic and they are continuing to rise in January.  With colds and flu also circulating, prevention measures such as washing your hands, covering coughs, staying home when sick, and getting vaccinated are especially critical.

For COVID-19 testing in Jackson County, you can contact the Henry Ford COVID-19 testing line at (517)205-6100, or the Center for Family Health Hotline at (517)748-5363. 

Visit www.mijackson.org/hd and click on COVID INFORMATION to view Jackson County COVID case counts as well as a menu of other COVID topics.

 

For resources on how to stay safe during the pandemic, visit Michigan.gov/coronavirus and CDC.gov/coronavirus. You can contact the Jackson County Health Department with questions at (517)788-4420, option 9, and leave a message. In case of a medical emergency call 911. 

Contact JTV News.  Do you have information or news to share?  Do you have any questions or do you need resources? 

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