Guidelines of COVID-19 quarantine

Guidelines of COVID-19 quarantine

Libby Crawford, Reporter

With the intent to keep everyone safe, the health department and the school district staff have worked hand-in-hand these past several months. They work together to keep track of students that may have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. There are various guidelines set in place for those who must quarantine, most prominently you must quarantine if you were in contact with less than six feet distance for more than 10 minutes. Depending on the case, individuals have varying numbers of close contacts and therefore the health department often includes the schools to help make calls to those who must quarantine. 

“Once we have confirmation an individual is positive for COVID-19, we contact that individual to try to identify a source of exposure. Additionally, we work with the positive individual to identify people they were in close contact with so that those individuals can be quarantined,” Public Information Officer/Special Projects Coordinator Kyle McCaskey said. 

The school does not have the authority to determine who needs to quarantine but does help figure out who was in contact with the individual who tested positive. Knowing that the person who tested positive is contagious two days before showing symptoms, the health department has to find out who that person was around up to two days prior. 

 “If I am asked to assist the HCHD with identifying potential contacts, I coordinate that effort within the school and pass on the information regarding potential contacts who have been identified,” school nurse Karen Lehman said. 

The specific guidelines of must quarantine and how long they must quarantine varies. If you were just in contact within six feet for more than 10 minutes then you would be in quarantine for 14 days once notified that the person tested positive. In a different situation such as living with someone who has tested positive, your 14 days of quarantine starts after the infected person feels well for three consecutive days. While the person who tested positive only has to quarantine for 10 days or when they have felt better for three days, the people that have been in contact must still quarantine for 14 days due to the fact that they could begin to show symptoms even on the 14 day. 

“Quarantine is meant to discover if someone who was in close contact with a positive case develops symptoms. Symptoms can develop a full 14 days after exposure,” McCaskey said. “It is necessary for the quarantined individual to remain away from the well population to prevent continued spread. You must quarantine for the entire time even if you receive a negative test result.” 

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