More lax COVID-19 guidelines released by California Department of Health

(FOX40.COM) — The California Department of Public Health released looser guidelines for those who test positive for COVID-19 earlier this month.

The department said recommendations were moving away from a flat five-day isolation period “to focus on clinical symptoms to determine when to end isolation.”

Those who test positive but do not have symptoms are encouraged to wear masks for 10 days and avoid contact with those at higher risk for severe COVID-19 but isolating for several days is no longer recommended.

“Previous isolation recommendations were implemented to reduce the spread of a virus to which the population had little immunity and had led to large numbers of hospitalizations and deaths that overwhelmed our healthcare systems during the pandemic,” the agency said in a Jan. 9 press release.

“We are now at a different point in time with reduced impacts from COVID-19 compared to prior years, due to broad immunity from vaccination and/or natural infection, and readily available treatments for infected people.”

According to the health department, those who do have symptoms should stay home until they have not had a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicines) for 24 hours and any other symptoms they may have are mold are improving.

After that, those recovering from their symptoms should also wear a mask and avoid contact with those at higher risk for severe COVID-19 for 10 days.

The department had several advisories for those who come into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19:

  • Those who develop symptoms themselves are advised to test for COVID-19 and mask.

  • Those who do not have symptoms but are at higher risk for severe infection should also be tested.

  • Those who do not have symptoms but have contact with those at higher risk should mask when around them for 10 days and test within 5 days after the last exposure.

​The California Department of Health noted that employers continue to be subject to Cal/OSHA regulations regarding COVID-19 and that educators should follow the agency’s school-specific guidance.

The health department also pointed out that those in healthcare settings had their own specific guidance to follow.

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