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UDOH releases updated guidelines for COVID-19

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Salt Lake City, Utah — Following an earlier announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Utah Department of Health released its updated COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidelines.

The CDC announced last week the shortening of the number of recommended days a positively tested person needs to quarantine themselves.

The new recommendation is five days versus the previous 10 days.

According to UDOH, the CDC has indicated that it is considering some additional changes for the general public and for school settings. they noted that if the CDC changes its guidance then the UDOH will revisit its guidance.

“We’ve worked with many different groups this week to review the changes CDC recommended. Together with the Governor’s office, state and local public health leaders, healthcare leaders, and education officials, we worked to make a plan that will work best for Utah,” said Dr. Leisha Nolen, state epidemiologist at the Utah Department of Health (UDOH). “These guidelines are effective immediately for schools, businesses, and community members. Additional guidelines for healthcare workers, immunocompromised people, and those who work or live in a congregate setting, like a prison or long-term care facility, are forthcoming.”

The updated UDOH guidelines for those who test positive for COVID-19 can be found below:

• Stay at home for 5 days from the day you were tested, even if you don’t have symptoms or feel sick. You can leave your house after 5 days if your symptoms have improved (fever-free without medicine for at least 24 hours and your symptoms have improved). You must stay home for at least 5 days.

• Wear a mask around others for the 5 days after your home isolation.

The UDOH also released updates to those who have been exposed to COVID-19.

The updated guidance is dependent on the person’s age and vaccination status. The updates can be found below:

• Adults aged 18 and older who have had their booster dose or are recently vaccinated (meaning they’ve had a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months or had a J&J vaccine within the last 2 months) don’t need to quarantine at home. These individuals can continue to go to work and participate in activities; however, they should wear a mask for the 10 days after their exposure.

• Anyone younger than 18 who is up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations (meaning they’ve had 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine) doesn’t need to quarantine at home. These individuals can continue to go to school and work and participate in activities; however, they should wear a mask for the 10 days after their exposure.

• People of all ages who are unvaccinated, have not received a booster dose, or are not recently vaccinated (meaning they’ve only had one dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or were vaccinated with J&J more than 2 months ago) should quarantine at home for 5 days from the day they were exposed. They can end quarantine after 5 days as long as they don’t have any symptoms. They should wear a mask around others for the 5 days after they end quarantine at home. Students may attend school so long as they wear a mask at school for the 10 days after their exposure.

Officials also recommend anyone who has been exposed to the virus get tested five days after their exposure.

“We understand the changing guidelines can be confusing. Our knowledge of COVID-19, and especially the Omicron variant, changes rapidly. Data continues to show vaccination protects you from severe illness, which means fewer people miss work and school or are at risk of hospitalization. Other countries have seen that prior infection alone is not sufficient to protect you from this variant,” said Nolen. “Please get tested if you have symptoms or if you’ve been exposed to someone with it. Stay home if at all possible if you’re sick, test positive, or have been exposed to COVID-19. We encourage everyone to wear a mask around others, so we can minimize the number of Utahns who get sick from COVID-19 in the coming weeks.”

 

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