Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Keweenaw & Ontonagon Counties, MI – The Western U.P. Health Department is changing its isolation and quarantine guidelines for people who have tested positive or been exposed to coronavirus to align with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols. The CDC says that science now shows the majority of COVID-19 transmission happens early in the illness, generally in the first one to two days before symptoms start and the two to three days thereafter. Therefore, effective immediately, the new guidance shortens the isolation and quarantine periods under certain scenarios.
If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, the new isolation guidelines, regardless of vaccination status, are:
- Isolate for five days,
- A person may leave isolation if they no longer have symptoms after five days,
- Continue to mask for an additional five days.
If an individual is exposed to someone with COVID-19, the new quarantine guidelines are:
- For people who are not vaccinated, or if it has been more than six months since they received the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or more than two months after receiving the J&J vaccine and have not received a booster, they should quarantine for five days followed by strict mask usage for five additional days.
- People who have received a booster do not need to quarantine following an exposure but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.
- All persons who have been exposed should test five days after the exposure.
- A person who experiences symptoms during quarantine should be tested for COVID-19 and stay home until receiving a negative result.
“These new guidelines will mean less disruption to people’s lives,” said Western U.P. Health Department Health Officer Kate Beer. “However, COVID-19 cases and deaths remain high. We encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms should be tested as soon as possible.”
This new guidance applies to the public and may not apply to those residing in congregate living settings, schools, or people who work with individuals in high-risk groups.
The Western U.P. Health Department is currently updating all its guidance and communication materials to reflect the change in the isolation and quarantine guidelines.