Austin Public Health (APH) has released updated guidance on COVID-19 quarantining to reflect changes recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week.
While the CDC has reinforced that the 14 day quarantine is the most protective, local and national data suggest that in some circumstances, a shorter quarantine may provide appropriate protection against the spread of COVID-19. The quarantine length will be determined based on the exposure risk and risk of transmitting the virus to those who could develop severe symptoms from the virus. This flowchart allows individuals to better understand the quarantine period required in Austin and Travis County after an exposure and may be shared with the public, attributed to Austin Public Health.
The updated recommendations are as follows:
If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and were not
wearing a mask OR you do live with or work in a setting with people who are at high risk for severe disease, you should quarantine for the full 14 days.
If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and were
wearing a mask and do not
live with or work in a setting with people who are at high risk for severe disease, the following guidance applies:
Quarantine for 10 days, monitoring your symptoms OR quarantine for 7 days, monitoring your symptoms AND receive a negative COVID-19 test on or after the 5th day following exposure.
If you are a healthcare worker or first responder, quarantine for 7 days, monitoring your symptoms AND receive a negative COVID-19 PCR test result on or after the 7th day following exposure.
This flowchart is to determine when to quarantine after an exposure to COVID-19 before it is certain whether it was spread to you. If you develop symptoms during your quarantine period and test positive for COVID-19, you need to self-isolate for at least 10 days
since the onset of symptoms and
for at least 1 day following the resolution of fever and improvement of other symptoms.
While the quarantine period has been shortened in some instances, it is essential that everyone closely monitor their health to ensure that they are not developing symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, headache, runny nose, loss of sense of smell/taste, sore throat, and/or diarrhea. Regardless of the quarantine guidelines, individuals should wear a mask, watch their distance, and wash their hands for the full 14 days following an exposure, even within their own household.
A free hotel facility is available for those awaiting their COVID-19 results or who have tested positive and cannot safely isolate from others in their home. Individuals wishing to stay at the facility can call 512-810-7554.
For more information about COVID-19, visit AustinTexas.gov/COVID19