Southern Seven Health Department adopting new options for reducing length of quarantine

Southern Seven Health Department on Dec. 7 announced that it will be adopting the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s, CDC, new options for reducing the length of COVID-19 related quarantines. 

The CDC has been recommending a quarantine period of 14 days; however, new options allow local health departments some acceptable alternatives.

Under the new options, individuals may be released from their quarantine by their local health department after 10 days without a COVID-19 test and if no symptoms develop during their monitoring period. 

Quarantine time could be even shorter if an individual decides to get a COVID-19 test beginning on day six of their quarantine. 

If an individual receives a negative COVID-19 test result and does not develop any symptoms during their monitoring period, they may be released from quarantine after their test results are received by the health department. 

These new options will be considered on a case by case basis, Southern Seven Health Department reported in a news release.

The health department advised that it is important to note that quarantine is a term used for individuals who are NOT positive for COVID-19. 

The term isolation is used for individuals who have a positive case of COVID-19.

Due to the risk of severe illness and congregate transmission, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports that it does not recommend the application of the two shortened quarantine options in congregate settings. 

Congregate settings are places like long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

With both options allowing the reduced quarantine periods, the health department said that individuals must agree to follow these additional procedures until the 14th day following exposure to an individual with COVID-19:

Correct and consistent mask use (including within homes). Maintaining social distance. Hand and cough hygiene.

Environmental cleaning and disinfection. Avoiding crowds. Ensuring adequate indoor ventilation.

Continuing to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 illness.

Minimizing contact with persons at increased risk for severe illness, including vulnerable and congregate population.

As the virus continues to sweep across the region, Southern Seven Health Department encourages all residents to get tested, regardless of symptoms, especially if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.  

It is through testing that the health department says it can effectively track the disease and prevent its spread to the region’s most vulnerable populations.  

Residents who are unable to be tested are asked to watch for these symptoms: 

Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.  

If symptoms develop, begin isolation immediately and contact your healthcare provider about getting tested for COVID-19, Southern Seven advised.

On Dec. 8, Southern Seven reported a cumulative total of 3,883 COVID-19 cases and 48 deaths in its service region since the start of the pandemic in the United States.  

The health department  said it continues to see community transmission of COVID-19 at social events and gatherings at alarming rates.

Southern Seven wants anyone who thinks they may be at risk for contracting this disease to be tested.  

For more details about COVID-19 testing, or for questions regarding COVID-19, contact Southern Seven Health Department at 618-634-2297 or visit them on Facebook.  

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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