New recommendations from IDPH; Use of masks helps to limit cases of quarantine from COVID-19 exposure

Iowa Department of Public Health has made the following changes to  recommendations for people who have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19.

• The Iowa Department of Public Health states close contacts of COVID-positive cases will no longer need to quarantine for 14 days if a face covering was consistently worn by both people during the exposure.
• Household/residential contacts and contacts in health care settings will still have the 14-day quarantine recommendation.
• Any type of face covering is acceptable. However, a face shield is not considered a face covering and quarantine is still required if one or both people were wearing a face shield only.
• People currently in quarantine can discontinue that quarantine if both people were wearing a face covering during the time of exposure.
• This is not a replacement for social distancing, but it should reduce the number of quarantines in school and work settings.
• This does not change the isolation requirements for people that are actually sick, or COVID-positive, to isolate from others. The recommendations for isolation continue as follows:
- They have no fever for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medications) and their other symptoms have improved, and
- At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared OR since they had a positive COVID test if they are asymptomatic.

Veterans Memorial Hospital Community and Home Care (Allamakee County Public Health) wants to emphasize the importance of wearing face coverings consistently and correctly, with it covering both the nose and mouth. Other recommendations such as social distancing, staying home when sick, and frequently washing or disinfecting hands continue to be important practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Strongly consider mask mandates in any facility to help decrease the need to quarantine staff and students.

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