Based on New York State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, the Niagara County Department of Health is announcing a change to its COVID-19 quarantine requirements. Effective immediately, Niagara County will implement the “test out of quarantine” strategy for all county residents.
Niagara County residents identified as a close contact to a COVID-19-positive individual and not fully vaccinated may be released from quarantine after seven full days (on day eight) following the last COVID-19 exposure (day zero) under the following conditions:
√ A diagnostic COVID-19 test, with a specimen collected and tested within 48 hours before the end of the planned quarantine discontinuation (on day five or later) is negative, and
√ No symptoms are reported during daily monitoring.
•Quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after completion of day seven (on day eight).
·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 of quarantine.
•People who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested five to seven days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms; and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.
·If you are a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 you must quarantine for 10 days past your last contact with the person that tested positive unless:
√ You are fully vaccinated, and, you do not have symptoms, or
√ You have recently recovered from COVID-19 and new exposure is within three months after the date of symptom onset of initial COVID-19 infection or date of positive diagnostic test (if asymptomatic), and, you do not have symptoms.
·Unvaccinated, partially vaccinated and fully vaccinated close contacts should have a diagnostic COVID-19 test five to seven days after their last contact with the person that tested positive.
·Close contacts should continue to monitor for symptoms and wear a mask indoors and outdoors in public settings for 14 days following last exposure.
·Individuals who test positive during their quarantine period must isolate for 10 days from either the onset of symptoms or the date of the test if asymptomatic.
“This change is the outcome of ongoing collaboration with the school districts in Niagara County to balance the need to prevent additional spread of COVID-19 and minimize the disruption to classroom learning,” said Daniel J. Stapleton, public health director. “With the success of our school-based testing sites throughout the county, we have a system in place to keep kids in school.”
Director of Public Health Planning and Emergency Preparedness Tracy Fricano Chalmers said, “Several resources have been added to the Niagara County website, Niagaracounty.com, to assist individuals with the implementation of ‘test out of quarantine.’ ” These documents include a temperature and symptom monitoring log, release from quarantine worksheet, and an affirmation of quarantine. “We hope that these resources will streamline individuals’ return to school/work, as it will no longer be necessary to contact the NCDOH.”
For more information on isolation and quarantine, visit: