State, county adopts new COVID-19 quarantine guidelines

TAYLOR COUNTY—After changes were made by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) concerning the length of time a person should quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure, local health officials are providing information for the county’ residents.

“Some people may have seen on the news that the CDC has changed the quarantine guidelines, where they have decreased it from a 14-day period down to a seven-or-ten-day quarantine,” explained Grafton-Taylor County Threat Preparedness Coordinator Shawn Thorn.

He revealed that under the new guidance, that had been accepted by state health officials, individuals would now have a couple different options when faced with a quarantine situation.

“Should someone be exposed to a COVID-19 positive person, they may end their quarantine after ten days without testing, as long as no symptoms have been identified,” Thorn disclosed. “With option two, if a person undergoes testing, is negative for the virus and does not present any symptoms, their quarantine period can end after just seven days.”

He further explained that a 14-day quarantine period would still be in place for those patients who were experiencing symptoms of the virus.

“These changes are what have come down from the state so far,” Thorn noted. “And we have adopted them on our level. We do not have much room to interpret this for ourselves, we have to adopt what the state tells us to do.” 

Taylor County Health Officer David Bender reiterated that should a person have a high-risk exposure to the virus, he and other local health officials were still recommending a 14-day isolation, even though other options were present.

“Of course, any person who ends their self-quarantine earlier than the 14 days will be asked to continue to mask up and socially distance themselves for what would be the remainder of the 14-day period,” he voiced. “So that’s what the change is, really. The change in the rules does relieve some of the burden for some folks who work or have young children. I just hope that we don’t see that we have increased incidents because folks are ending their quarantining early.”

The risk of contracting the virus might soon be a thing of the past for individuals hoping to receive the approved COVID-19 vaccine.

Bender revealed that the coordination of the COVID-19 vaccine’s distribution was being carried out by multiple agencies across the state, but they have made their way to Taylor County.

With news of the COVID-19 vaccine’s arrival in Taylor County, local health officials are encouraging residents to begin educating themselves on the serum in anticipation of a rollout to the general public after the start of the new year. 

“While we will begin administering doses to certain populations within the county, over the next couple of weeks, we do not anticipate that the vaccine will be made available to the public until sometime later in January,” explained Thorn. “However, we would like for residents to begin thinking about whether or not they will want to receive the vaccination. Now is the time to start educating yourself.”

He said that while receiving the vaccination is a personal choice and is not mandated, it is highly encouraged.

“Again, start to do your research so that you will have a better understanding when the time comes to make the decision if you will receive the vaccine,” Thorn imparted.


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