COVID isolation times shortened

Image courtesy of the Georgia Department of Public Health

WATERTOWN — On Friday, Jefferson County announced it is updating isolation and quarantine protocol changes for people with COVID-19, and for people exposed to COVID-19.

Following the CDC’s recommendations, there will be an isolation period of five days for asymptomatic and mildly ill people.

The first five days is when a person is most infectious, and if the person is mildly ill or asymptomatic, an additional five days of continued masking when around others is required.

Ten-day isolation is still required for childcare, non-school aged children, immunocompromised people, and people who can’t wear masks.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 are instructed not to leave their homes, except to get medical care.

The county is also urging those who have to use shared bathrooms to clean the surfaces after use.

If after five days the infected person is asymptomatic or symptoms are resolving, isolation will then end and while around others for five more days, a mask should be worn.

If anyone in the house is unvaccinated, immunocompromised, or has underlying health conditions they should monitor themselves closely and speak to their medical providers for concerns and for additional treatments.

Those who have been deemed a close contact to a person who tested positive while they were still infectious do not have to quarantine if fully vaccinated and if they received a booster shot. A close contact is a person who has been within six feet of the infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period.

Anyone who has been identified as a close contact and either has COVID-19 symptoms or is not fully vaccinated with a booster is subject to quarantine.

The county is also urging close contacts to use separate bathrooms if possible. However, if not possible, the county is urging people to clean surfaces after use.

After the fifth day of quarantine, the county asks people to wear masks around others for an additional five days and if symptoms develop to get tested.

Those who test positive using at-home tests can enter their results at or call 315-786-3730.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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