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San Mateo Co. health officer revises quarantine, isolation guidelines

Coronavirus

SAN MATEO, Calif. (KRON) – San Mateo County has revised its local COVID-19 health orders to provide updated guidelines for quarantine and isolation, the county announced Friday.

The revised order further aligns with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The guidelines were revised by Dr. Scott Morrow, the county’s health officer. 

Quarantine applies to individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 after being in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. 

If someone is aware that they have been in close contact with a positive case, they must self-quarantine. For individuals who do not live with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, quarantine lasts 14 days. Individuals living with someone diagnosed with the virus must quarantine for 14 days after the household member no longer needs to be isolated.  

Isolation applies to individuals diagnosed with COVID-19. If they test positive, individuals must immediately isolate in their homes or another residence, follow isolation instructions, notify close contacts and cooperate with local public health officials. 

Individuals with the virus should isolate for at least 10 days after first developing symptoms and at least one day after recovery, defined as resolution of fever without medication and improvement in other COVID-19 symptoms. 

Those individuals who are asymptomatic should isolate for 10 days following their positive test. 

Anyone needing assistance with finding a place to isolate or quarantine can call 211 to contact the county’s Emergency Operations Center Care and Shelter Branch. The center may also be able to help with food and other essentials. 

San Mateo County’s new orders also contain specific guidelines for health care workers and first responders. 

Morrow said in Friday’s press release that the order is issued based on scientific evidence and best practices, as COVID-19 can easily spread between people who are in close contact with one another. 

San Mateo County’s COVID-19 numbers continue to decline. For the week ending Oct. 17, the county had an adjusted case rate of 3 per day per 100,000 compared to 3.5 the previous week. The test positivity rate declined from 1.8 percent the week ending Oct. 10 to 1.6 percent the following week. 

These numbers – due in part to increased testing – helped the county to advance on Tuesday from the red (substantial risk) tier to the orange (moderate risk) tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.  

While the move loosens restrictions on businesses and activities, county officials warn that people should not let their guard down.  

County Manager Mike Callagy said that people should continue to wear face coverings, wash their hands frequently, practice social distancing and take other common-sense precautions. He also discouraged gatherings. 

“As we approach the holidays and cooler weather, it is important to know that the risks associated with gatherings outside of households are significant,” Callagy said in Friday’s press release. “While we often gather with friends and family out of affection, this year consider showing your respect by staying safely apart.” 

To view the revised health orders regarding quarantine and isolation, visit HERE. Other local health orders are available HERE.  

More information on Covid-19 is available at the CDC website.

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