|With more than 632 new coronavirus cases per day and positivity rates above 14 percent – the highest local rates since the onset of the pandemic – our ability to provide services essential for the health of the community is threatened. Furthermore, our ability to conduct case investigation and contact tracing is severely challenged. As a result, we are prioritizing case investigations and cannot assure communication to all
people who test positive or their contacts in a timely manner. For that reason, we are asking for the cooperation of our residents and employers:
- Any person notified of a positive test for COVID-19 should immediately isolate for a period of time not less than ten days from onset of symptoms (if applicable) or from test date. The person must be fever-free without the help of fever-reducing medications for at least 24 hours and all other symptoms must be improving before leaving isolation. Click here for more information on isolation.
- Any person who tests positive for COVID-19 should contact all persons they were in close proximity to from a period of time beginning 48 hours before onset of illness (if applicable) or the test collection date.Close contacts include persons within six feet of distance for at least 15 minutes cumulative over 24 hours and/or physically contacted with a hug, kiss, handshake, or other intimate contact. Those close contacts should be advised to quarantine according to instructions outlined in the section below.
- Any person who has had close contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19 must quarantine for 14 days from the date of their last contact with the infected person. The quarantined person should stay home, stay away from others as much as possible, and watch for symptoms. If the person tests positive, they should follow isolation instructions outlined above. If the person tests negative, that does not mean they may end quarantine. That is because it can take up to 14 days for the virus to incubate after contact with someone who is infected. If, after 14 days of quarantine, the individual has not tested positive and does not have symptoms associated with COVID-19, they may end quarantine and return to work. For those who are household contacts of a diagnosed case, the total quarantine period could last for approximately 24 days. Click here for more detailed quarantine guidance.
- We do not recommend that employees be required to show proof of two negative tests or present a “release from isolation or quarantine” letter from the Kent County Health Department. Both requirements would significantly and unnecessarily delay the employee’s return to work. Plus, studies have shown that some individuals continue to test positive long after they contracted the virus and are no longer contagious. Employers should visit accesskent.com/return2work for instructions on screening employees for return to work after quarantine or isolation.