Here’s the latest on the CDC’s quarantine and isolation protocols.
By Maggie Yenchick
Photo: Masks should still be worn if you have symptoms, a positive COVID-19 test result, or know you’ve been exposed. By coyot via Pexels
Allegheny County’s COVID-19 community level is low, according to the CDC. As a result, anyone can choose to wear a mask at any time. Masks should be worn if you have symptoms, a positive test result, or know you’ve been exposed. Vaccinations should be kept up to date and you should be fully immunized. A person who is fully vaccinated has received all doses in the primary series as well as a booster shot if they are eligible. There are currently three vaccines approved under the Biologics License Application (BLA), meaning they’re authorized under an emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The CDC recommends a COVID-19 vaccine for children and adults aged 5 and older. Vaccines help prevent contracting and spreading the virus. None of the vaccines are live virus vaccines. The dosage for children aged 5 to 11 is 1/3 of that for older adolescents and adults. People aged 12 and up should have a booster shot five months following their second primary shot. Pfizer-BioNTech is offered in two 10-µg (µg = microgram) doses for children aged 5 to 11. For ages 12 and up, Pfizer-BioNTech offers two 30-µg primary doses as well as booster shots. For those aged 18 and over, Moderna delivers two primary 100-µg doses and a 50-µg dosage for a booster. Also, for those aged 18 and older Janssen gives a dose of 5×1010 virus particles, with a booster recommended two months later.
The vaccine is not presently available for children under the age of 5, but Pfizer is undertaking ongoing clinical trials. The two lesser doses given to the younger population have not generated the same immune response as the higher doses provided to the older population. The effectiveness of a third dose is being evaluated.
Current Quarantine and Isolation Protocols per the CDC:
When you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, you should go into isolation. Isolation should last at least five days. You should avoid any other residents of your house during this period. If you haven’t had a fever in at least 24 hours or have no symptoms, you can come out of isolation after five days. After five days of isolation, continue to take measures for up to 10 days.
If you’ve been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, quarantine yourself. If you were in close or constant contact with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive, stay at home for five days and be tested. Isolate if your test is positive or you start to experience symptoms. After quarantine, continue to take precautions for another five days. However, if you’ve had all your vaccines and aren’t showing symptoms, quarantine isn’t required. But it is still a good idea to get tested. If symptoms do develop or you get a positive test result, isolate.
To find a testing location or vaccination site you can visit www.alleghenycounty.us/health or www.pa.gov/covid/.
Maggie Yenchick is the AGH Partnership Coordinator for the Northside Leadership Conference.