On Dec. 2, 2020, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced an additional option to reduce length of quarantine for contacts of persons with COVID-19, Jones County Public Health said in a press release.

While the new quarantine reduction option is intended to increase quarantine adherence, a 14-day quarantine continues to provide the greatest reduction in post-quarantine transmission.

The new quarantine reduction option includes the following alternative to a 14-day quarantine.

• Quarantine can end 10 days after last exposure without testing and if they have had no symptoms of COVID-19.

• Quarantine can end 7 days after last exposure if the individual in quarantine is tested on day 5 and receives a negative test result, and if they have had no symptoms of COVID-19.

Individuals who elect to follow one of the new quarantine reduction options must continue to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 until 14-days have passed since their last exposure to the individual while they were infectious.

Though the guidance for those who have been exposed to COVID-19 has changed, the guidance for unwell individuals has not changed. If an individual tests positive or experiences symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they should stay home and isolate from others in the household until they meet the definition of recovered.

Individuals are considered recovered from COVID-19 when at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND they are fever-free for at least 24 without medication AND other symptoms have improved.

The Jones County Board of Health and Jones County Public Health thank Jones County residents for their assistance in slowing and stopping the spread of COVID-19. The mitigation practices such as utilizing face coverings, frequent handwashing, and social distancing are all important steps to protecting the health of all in our communities.

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