WCHD Health Alert – Quarantine Guidance
For those who are able, quarantining for 14 days is the safest option to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that 10-day or 7-day (with negative test <48 hours before ending) are options if there are significant barriers to full 14-day quarantine, but they are less effective and have residual risk of transmission.
Quarantine guidance for contacts of COVID-19 cases have been updated to align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For those who are able, quarantining for 14 days is the safest option to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The CDC currently recommends a quarantine period of 14 days. However, based on local circumstances and resources, the following options to shorten quarantine are acceptable alternatives.
- Stay in quarantine for 14 days after last contact. This is the safest option. Monitor symptoms during this time, and if any COVID-19 symptoms appear during the 14 days, get tested. Certain high-risk settings or groups should use the 14-day quarantine option:
- People who work or stay in an acute or long-term healthcare setting,
- People who work or stay in a correctional facility,
- People who work or stay in a shelter or transitional housing,
- People who live in communal housing such as dormitories, fraternities or sororities,
- People who work in crowded work situations where physical distancing is impossible due to the nature of the work such as in a warehouse or factory,
- People who work on fishing or seafood processing vessels.
- If this is not possible, stay in quarantine for 10 days after last contact, without additional testing. If any COVID-19 symptoms during the 10 days, stay in quarantine the full 14 days and get tested. Keep watching for symptoms until day 14.
- Under special circumstances it may be possible to end quarantine after 7 full days beginning after last contact and after receiving a negative result from a test (get tested no sooner than 48 hours before ending quarantine.) This will depend on availability of testing resources. Keep watching for symptoms until day 14.
Note: Persons who require assistance to isolate/quarantine should be referred to the Whatcom County Health Department to determine if they qualify to stay at the isolation and quarantine facility on Byron Street in Bellingham. Consult with the Whatcom County Health Department to determine the best option for individual circumstances, if you have any questions.
For more information, contact:
Whatcom County Health Department, 1500 N State Street, Bellingham WA 98225 | 360-778-6100 Main | 360-778-6150 24-hour Communicable Disease Program Report Line | 360-778-6101 Fax