Last week the CDC updated their COVID guidelines in an attempt to streamline and simplify the protocols. Barton County Health Department Administrator Joel Dermott stated, “As with most COVID guidance over the past couple of years, streamlined and simplified are not necessarily the words I would use to describe them”. He went on to add, that while they are an improvement when compared to last year’s school reopening guidelines and the infamous 2020 essential worker definitions, they are still somewhat confusing. At any rate here are some of the highlights:
* Recommending that instead of quarantining if you were exposed to COVID-19, you wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day five.
* Reiterating that regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate from others when you have COVID-19.
* Recommending that if you test positive for COVID-19, you stay home for at least five days and isolate from others in your home. You are likely most infectious during these first five days. Wear a high-quality mask when you must be around others at home and in public. If after five days you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication and your symptoms are improving or you never had symptoms, you may end isolation after day five.
* Recommending that if you had moderate illness (if you experienced shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing) or severe illness (you were hospitalized) due to COVID-19 or you have a weakened immune system, you need to isolate through day 10.
* Recommending that if you had severe illness or have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before ending isolation. Ending isolation without a viral test may not be an option for you. If you are unsure if your symptoms are moderate or severe or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to a healthcare provider for further guidance.
If you have further questions, feel free to give the health department a call or visit www.cdc.gov for the complete guidance.
Dermott added that locally Barton County case numbers continue to improve. He stated, “Remain aware that the virus still exists amongst us, but we must also continue to live life to the fullest and enjoy God’s many blessings”.
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