LONGVIEW, Washington — In coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Washington State Department of Health (DOH), Cowlitz County Health and Human Services (CCHHS) is issuing updated COVID-19 guidance for quarantine.
While CCHHS maintains that a 14-day quarantine is the safest option for all close contacts, the updated federal guidance allows for a shortened quarantine period in certain circumstances. CCHHS along with other Region IV Public Health agencies in adopting these recommendations for some close contacts.
Per the updated guidance, people who are in quarantine and do not live or work in a high-priority setting — including long-term care facilities, health care facilities, food processing facilities, jails, schools and child care facilities — may shorten their quarantine in the following circumstances:
- If a person who is in quarantine has no symptoms, quarantine can end after Day 10.
- If a person who is in quarantine receives a negative COVID-19 test and has no symptoms, quarantine can end after Day 7. The person must be tested on or after Day 5, and quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than Day 8. Even if a negative test is received before Day 8, the quarantine period should still be a full seven days.
People who live or work in a high-priority setting should quarantine for the full 14-day period due to the increased risk for a potential outbreak in congregate settings.
People who may have been exposed to COVID-19 should notify all close contacts as soon as possible. Those who are exposed to an infectious COVID-19 case should quarantine according to the above guidance.
There is a chance that people who choose to shorten their quarantine may transmit the infection to others post-quarantine. It is critical that the person who has been in quarantine continues to monitor their symptoms and wear a face covering through Day 14. If they develop symptoms, they should get tested and isolate themselves to avoid infecting others.
The updated guidance attempts to balance the unintended economic hardship and other factors that may reduce compliance with a 14-day quarantine. This change in guidance is meant to help reduce that burden, while continuing to keep the community safe.
CCHHS is working to incorporate the updated guidance into case and contact processes and online toolkits.
Staff is working diligently to respond to calls, however, response times may be longer than normal due to increasing demand. For COVID-19 resources including toolkits for cases and close contacts, please visit the Cowlitz County Health and Human Services novel coronavirus website.
To contact the Health and Human Services Departments, please call (360) 414-5599.
Ralph Herrera, PIO
360-442-7082 or (360) 414-5599
Release #: 20-072