On Oct. 27, the New York State Department of Health released an informational document that allowed local health departments to reduce the duration of a quarantine under certain conditions. Based on that document, the Erie County Department of Health is announcing an adjustment to its COVID-19 quarantine requirements.
Starting this week, Erie County residents who are a close contact to a COVID-19 positive individual and not fully vaccinated can be released from quarantine after seven full days (i.e. day 8) following the last COVID-19 exposure under certain conditions:
√ A diagnostic COVID-19 test – with a specimen collected and tested within 48 hours before the end of the planned quarantine discontinuation (i.e., after five days following last exposure) – is negative; and,
√ No symptoms are reported during daily monitoring
ECDOH contact tracers have begun to inform close contacts of this option as they make notifications about quarantine orders.
Quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after completion of Day 7 (i.e., day 8).
Acceptable COVID-19 tests include NAAT (PCR) tests or antigen tests conducted and reported by a licensed laboratory. At-home test results will not be accepted for early release from quarantine. Positive home COVID-19 test results should be reported to ECDOH; call the COVID-19 information line at 716-858-2929 or use the online reporting form. Individuals who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 are not subject to quarantine as long as they remain symptom-free.
This change is in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, which allows individuals to end quarantine after day 7 (i.e., day 8) after receiving a negative test result, as long as the test occurs on day 5 or later. With this strategy, CDC estimates the risk of post-quarantine transmission risk is relatively low, between 5-12%. Individuals who are released from quarantine early are strongly encouraged to continue to monitor for symptoms and to wear a mask around others for two weeks following their last date of exposure.
ECDOH has also added two documents to its website for individuals to provide to workplaces, schools or for travel that affirm their own quarantine or isolation periods. These documents can be accessed at www.erie.gov/iq, and Erie County residents do not need to call ECDOH to be released from quarantine or isolation. They should be prepared to show a negative test result from day 5 of quarantine or after if a workplace or school requests it.