San Francisco and Santa Cruz County Public Health Departments announced on Friday that they were aligning themselves with new shortened COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
People who test positive for COVID-19 can now self-isolate for five days instead of 10 in both counties if they have no symptoms or if their symptoms go away. This assumes that they receive a negative test result at a minimum on the fifth day of isolation and preferably via antigen testing.
Anyone with a persistent fever should self-isolate until symptoms subside or for 10 days.
People exposed to someone with COVID-19 who are not vaccinated or who are vaccinated but not yet boosted can quarantine for five days instead of 10, assuming they are negative on day 5 or later , preferably using an antigen test.
For those who cannot be tested and are asymptomatic, a 10-day quarantine is required.
People who are fully vaccinated and boosted or who are fully vaccinated but not yet eligible for a booster do not need to self-quarantine after known exposure to COVID-19, unless they show symptoms. It is recommended to do a test after five days.
The updated guidelines do not apply to healthcare workers. Anyone who completes a period of isolation should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days.
Additional guidelines for schools are expected to be published by the California Department of Public Health.
Santa Cruz County schools offer antigen and PCR testing on Saturday at the County Office of Education and Cabrillo College in Aptos from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 3-7 at these locations as well. than the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. in Watsonsville.
In San Francisco, isolation and quarantine guidelines can be found online at https://www.sfdph.org/dph/COVID-19/Isolation-and-Quarantine.asp.
Vaccines remain the best protection against COVID-19, and people 5 years and older are eligible. Recalls are strongly encouraged for those 16 years and older who received their first vaccines more than six months ago.