EL PASO COUNTY — El Paso County Public Health leaders are revising isolation and quarantine guidelines to align with changes updated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The revision shrinks the timeline.
“Through the CDC we've learned that the contagiousness is one to two days before you show signs and symptoms, and then two to three days afterward," said El Paso County Public Health, Temporary Medical Officer, Dr. Chris Urbina. Based on the research the time for isolation shortens from ten days to five if the person with COVID-19 is no longer showing symptoms. They should wear a mask for another five days.
If someone who is unvaccinated or has not yet gotten a booster is exposed to someone with COVID-19, the recommendations for quarantine are the same. If someone who has received the full series of vaccinations is exposed, the guideline is to wear a mask around others for ten days.
The changes are evidence of the continuing push to improve the fight against the virus. "We know a lot more than we did almost 20 plus months ago and so why not take advantage of that, use our science and use our recommendations to really make a difference to reduce the amount of infections," said Urbina.
A shorter isolation window does not lessen reasons for remaining cautious. "Those layers of protection we talk about all the time are still important." The infection rate in El Paso County was dropping until about 10 days ago. It now shows a steep line heading back up.