Health district follows suit with CDC quarantine guidelines

Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 10:22 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - After an announcement made on Monday, the CDC is now recommending individuals who test positive for COVID-19 to stay home for only five days instead of the 10 days that were recommended six months ago.

The Wichita Falls - Wichita County Public Health District also updated their COVID-19 clearance and procedure tab on the city’s website on Tuesday afternoon following the announcement.

The CDC changed the quarantine recommendation for individuals to 10 days in August and before that, it was 14 days.

“Sometimes we’ve aligned with the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services and sometimes we have been stricter. It just depends on where we are in the pandemic and what we’re seeing in our community,” said Amy Fagan, assistant health director of the Wichita Falls - Wichita County Public Health District. “The timeframe by which you are infectious to others, two days before one is sick and two days after so it’s substantially smaller than what we saw with Delta.”

The Wichita County staff are recommending those who test positive for COVID-19, who have symptoms must be isolated for five days and have one negative test if their symptoms are attributed to chronic disease. Those who aren’t showing any symptoms must remain at home for five days from their positive test date.

But for those with severe COVID-19 who have been hospitalized, their quarantine period will stay the same.

“For those individuals, we left that 20 days so prior information that was shared, studies that were peer reviews indicated that those who had severe disease tend to have the virus in their body longer,” said Fagan.

For some who have been through COVID-19 they say after five days, they couldn’t leave the house and would like to see the 14 days originally set last year put back in place for anyone who gets the virus.

“I and my whole family had COVID. I felt like I had been hit by a truck and I still had the cough and the congestion it wasn’t good at all,” said Sherry Gonzales, a resident.

“I guess the CDC feels that’s what needs to be done, and it’s the right thing but it still makes me nervous,” said Bobbie Taylor, a resident.

“The other piece is compliance, if we stick to ten and people are not compliant that’s not getting after what we want, which is to stop the spread of disease, " said Fagan.

Fagan said they have also aligned with the CDC for updating guidelines of household contacts, which says for the unvaccinated or those who were fully vaccinated more than six months ago and have yet to get a booster, they must also quarantine for five days. The same rules apply for those two months out if you choose to get the J&J shot.

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