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woman coughingUpdated April 24, 2021

The practice of self-isolation and quarantine helps protect the public and your family by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.

People who are diagnosed with COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and live with other people are strongly encouraged to self-isolate in a room away from everyone else in the house. Violation of isolation and quarantine orders is punishable by law.

This practice can be very disruptive to our daily lives but it is critical in helping contain the spread of COVID-19.

IF YOU ARE EXPOSED AND NEED TO BE IN QUARANTINE

The CDC recently allowed for the option to quarantine for just 10 days as long as you don’t have symptoms. Washoe County Health District (WCHD) is adopting the 10-day quarantine option, however both CDC and WCHD still recommend quarantine for the full 14 days starting from the last date you came into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/scientific-brief-options-to-reduce-quarantine.html

While the CDC did offer the option to quarantine for seven days if there are no symptoms and you receive a negative test only if you are tested on day five (5) or later, that is currently not recommended locally due to lab and testing capacity issues.

It is common for most people to self-isolate in their home in these situations. If you have people who live in the house with you, there are guidelines in place to help avoid the potential spread of COVID-19 and keep others in the house safe. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/care-for-someone.html.

IF YOU ARE EXPOSED TO A COVID-19 VARIANT OF CONCERN

See a list of current COVID-19 variants of concern, per the Centers of Disease Control & Prevention.

Currently, per guidance the Health District received from the Nevada Department of Health & Human Services, the quarantine period for those exposed to a COVID-19 variant of concern is the full 14-day period with no option for a shortened quarantine.

IF YOU HAVE COVID-19 – RECOVERY STRATEGY

The Washoe County Health District follows guidance from the State of Nevada and CDC on how to release people who have COVID-19 from self-isolation. We follow a non-test-based format, which is considered a time-since-illness-onset and time-since-recovery strategy.

Patients with mild to moderate illness who are not severely immunocompromised or persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were able to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved

Note: For patients who are not severely immunocompromised and who were asymptomatic throughout their infection, transmission-based precautions and home isolation may be discontinued when at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive viral diagnostic test.

Patients with severe to critical illnesses or who are severely immunocompromised:

  • At least 20 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improve

 

Helpful links from the CDC