Quarantine Guidelines to Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19

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   There is a great deal of confusion over the rules for quarantine if you have COVID or have been exposed to it. Following are the rules set forth by the Tennessee Department of Health for quarantine/isolation:

   You have tested positive and have symptoms:

   If you are symptomatic and have tested positive for COVID-19, then you must isolate for 10 days from the date your symptoms began. To stop or discontinue isolation, at least 10 days must have passed since your symptoms began and at least 24 hours must have passed since your fever went away without the use of fever-reducing medications (such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen) and other symptoms have improved.

   You have tested positive but have no symptoms:

   If you are not symptomatic and have tested positive for COVID-19 then you must isolate for 10 days from the day you had your test done.

   You have been identified as a close contact:

   If you have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, you should quarantine for 14 days. If you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, you should quarantine as long as you are exposed to the case AND for an additional 14 days after your last exposure. Fully vaccinated people may not need to quarantine.

   If you are confused about the quarantine guidelines (which can be quite hard to understand), you may go to https://covid19.tn.gov/prevention/quarantine-isolation-calculator/ and type in your date of exposure or diagnosis of COVID and the computer will calculate your quarantine requirements.

   Alex Pope, a Registered Nurse at Wayne Medical Center, was recently diagnosed with COVID after caring for her husband Kyle and son Hagan who both had the virurs. “I took care of Kyle and Hagan, both COVID positive. I did not test positive until Hagan’s day 8!” Alex said. “EIGHT days of exposure before I tested positive. You are infectious to others before you show symptoms!”

   Alex’s husband Kyle was transferred to Maury Regional Hospital in Columbia when his symptoms worsened. Alex said, “The hardest part of this for me is not being able to be with him. The fact that I can take care of complete strangers with COVID but I cannot be with the most important person in my life in their time of need is absolutely killing me. We have never been apart for more than 24 hours in nearly 17 years, and it is causing us both a lot of anxiety.”

   Alex also clarified the quarantine guidelines, saying, “If you are UNVACCINATED: If you have been in contact with someone with COVID (including someone in your household) you must quarantine for 7 days FROM YOUR LAST CONTACT WITH THEM.  If you do not have symptoms and have a negative test after day 5, FROM YOUR LAST CONTACT WITH THEM, you no longer have to quarantine AFTER DAY 7. This means, if you are unable to separate yourself from someone in your household who is positive, you must quarantine for 17 days with a negative test and no symptoms on day 15. If you do not wish to be tested and you have no symptoms, your quarantine would end on their day 20.”

   According to the Tennessee Department of Health, CHILDREN now account for 36% of Tennessee’s virus cases.

   They urge everyone to please consider getting the COVID vaccination, masking, and social distancing – all of which are tools to fight this infectious virus and the most recommended ways of avoiding getting sick and protecting the ones you love.

   The map pictured shows ACTIVE CASES OF COVID in Wayne County and our adjacent counties. Active means the number of confirmed cases minus the number of recovered cases and deaths. It is the number of cases still considered to be infectious.