IMPERIAL COUNTY — Public Health Officials announced Friday, July 24, an amended Health Officer Order related to isolation requirements for non-immunocompromised individuals has been issued. In addition, a new Health Officer Order, which provides isolation instructions specific to individuals who are severely immunocompromised or have a severe or critical illness has also been released. Both orders are based on updated guidance recently published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and outline criteria that must be met before discontinuing isolation, according to the release.

Each order also specifies that once criteria for discontinuing isolation have been met, no medical evaluation or written verification of the health officer or other medical provider is required for an individual to be released back to the workplace or other public areas. Further, follow up COVID-19 testing is not necessary.

The amended order changes the time frame for discontinuing isolation for non-immunocompromised persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who are suspected to be positive for the virus.

According to the CDC, evidence now supports discontinuing isolation once the following conditions have been met:

  • At least 10 days have passed since their first positive test and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since no longer having fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and
  • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved

Previously the period for no longer having a fever, without fever-reducing medications was 72 hours. For persons who are considered severely immunocompromised or have a severe or critical illness, based on guidance from the CDC, guidelines for discontinuing isolation are as follows:

  • At least 20 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.

Individuals who test positive will be provided instructions from their healthcare provider regarding isolation and given guidance to share with close contacts who must quarantine.

Health care providers and labs that conduct COVID-19 testing are still required to report positive results to the agency, which will monitor the individuals and their close contacts for symptoms and compliance with local health officer orders. The full text of these orders is available on the Imperial County Public Health Department website.

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