The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated guidance to align with the recommended isolation and quarantine timeframes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in December. CDPH added additional testing recommendations to exit isolation and quarantine and improved masking measures in the midst of ongoing uncertainty due to the spread of the Omicron variant.
Additional measures by CDPH include the following:
- All individuals with COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should stay home for at least five days. Isolation can end after day five if symptoms are not present or resolving and diagnostic specimen collected on day five or later is negative. An antigen test is the preferred method for diagnostic specimen.
- Unvaccinated individuals and vaccinated people who are eligible for a booster but have not yet received a booster who are exposed to COVID-19 should stay home for at least five days and also get a COVID-19 test on day five. If choosing not to test, individuals should stay home for at least 10 days.
- Vaccinated individuals who have received their booster or are not yet eligible for a booster who are exposed to COVID-19 do not have to stay home but should test on day five.
According to CDPH, early data regarding the Omicron variant suggest the increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant is two to four times as infectious as the Delta variant, and there is evidence of immune evasion.
“Recent evidence also shows that vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection is decreasing over time without boosters,” KCPH Department said in a news release. “There is still much to be learned about the Omicron variant, and it is important to remain vigilant at this time.”
Kern County Public Health is encouraging the community to use as many layers of protection as possible to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Recommended layers of protection include:
- Getting vaccinated against COVID-19
- Getting your COVID-19 booster as soon as eligible
- Wearing a mask while in indoor public settings
- Staying home when sick
- Washing your hands often
- Get tested before gathering or traveling
- Gather outside or increase ventilation when indoors
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Regularly exercising