OCHD asks residents to take responsibility for household COVID-19 quarantines
Oneida County seeing increased testing, increased positive COVID-19 cases
For the Star Journal
RHINELANDER – Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, as well as an increased use of at-home tests, the Oneida County Health Department is letting the community know it will not be able to contact all people who test positive for COVID-19.
Staff is asking that families with someone who tests positive in the household review the CDC guidelines to determine how long they need to stay home.
“While this new guidance from the CDC provides welcome flexibility for many families, it can be hard to interpret because there are so many variables and caveats,” said Oneida County Health Officer Linda Conlon. While we await more information from the CDC and WI DHS, we are doing our best to share quarantine and isolation guidance. Because of the increase in cases, we are not able to contact everyone in a timely manner and are requesting that residents take responsibility for staying home for the appropriate time period and contacting their close contacts, including schools and employers.”
OCHD has created resources to help households determine when and for how long they may need to stay home. These resources for isolation (when you test positive or are sick with COVID-19) and quarantine (when you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19) are subject to change as more information becomes available.
Conlon said the following are key points to remember about the new CDC guidance:
• Masking is key to making this revised guidance safe to use. People under the age of two, people who cannot safely mask, or people who decline to mask should quarantine/isolate for 10 days.
• The guidance allows people who test positive to be released after five full days, but it requires them to be fever free and other symptoms should be improving. People who are still not feeling well on day six should remain in isolation.
• Quarantine for close contacts starts on the date of last contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19. This is considered day zero, and quarantine must continue at least through day five. Complete separation means using separate bedrooms and bathrooms and not sharing any common living space, like kitchens or living rooms. Masking should also be done, even in shared households.
• Some fully vaccinated people may need to quarantine after close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. If you have been fully vaccinated but are overdue for a booster (more than six months after your second Pfizer or Moderna dose or more than two months after your J&J dose) you will still need to quarantine. This is due to the mounting evidence that a booster is needed to protect against Omicron.
• People who have received their booster dose or are within six months of their second dose of Moderna or Pfizer or within two months of their J&J first dose do not need to quarantine if they come in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. You should mask around others for 10 days and consider getting tested.
To read the latest information about COVID-19 check the Oneida County Health Department website (oneidacountypublichealth.org ) or Facebook page (facebook.com/OneidaCountyHealthDepartment/), the Department of Health Services (DHS) website (https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html).