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November 27, 2020

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  • Be aware increasing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are causing delays in Public Health case and contact investigations. Healthcare providers can help interrupt COVID-19 transmission by following these recommendations.
  • Counsel all patients with the following key messages about isolation and quarantine to minimize COVID-19 transmission in the community:
    • Persons with symptoms of COVID-19 or who have had close contact* with someone with COVID-19 should be instructed to stay home and away from others until testing can be performed and while awaiting results.
    • If test results are positive, the patient should be instructed to continue to isolate themselves and notify all of their close contacts* immediately to self-quarantine away from others for 14 days and get tested.
      • If a close contact tests negative, they still need to remain in quarantine for 14 days after their last date of exposure and be retested if symptoms develop. A negative test during the quarantine period indicates absence of SARS-CoV-2 at the time of testing but the patient may become positive later in the 14-day incubation period & should continue to quarantine.
    • Inform patients with COVID-19 who have symptoms to discontinue isolation under the following conditions:
      • At least 10 days* have passed since symptom onset, and
      • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever- reducing medications, and
      • Other symptoms have improved
    • Inform patients with COVID-19 who never developed symptoms to discontinue home isolation when 10 days have passed since they had a positive viral test for COVID-19.

*Close contact definition: Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.