Kent County Health Department changes guidance on COVID-19 quarantine

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The Kent County Health Department is changing its quarantine guidelines for people exposed to the coronavirus to align with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols.

Effective immediately, the new guidance shortens the quarantine period for exposed people from 14 days to 10 days under certain scenarios.

The previous 14-day quarantine period was based on the full incubation period of the virus. However, data confirms 90-99% of COVID-19 infections occur within 10 days of exposure.

Residents can be released from quarantine after 10 days, without testing, if they conduct daily symptom monitoring through Day 10 after the last exposure and if they do not have any symptoms or clinical evidence of COVID-19.

If a potentially exposed individual develops symptoms during the 10 days, they should seek testing and self-isolate while awaiting results. Additionally, potentially exposed individuals should adhere to mitigation strategies after exiting self-quarantine such as mask use, social distancing, hygiene practices, etc.

A 10-day quarantine period does not apply to those residing in congregate living settings or who work with individuals in high-risk groups.

“This change will make it easier for individuals to complete their quarantine and still reduce the spread of the virus,” Kent County Health Department Medical Director Dr. Nirali Bora said. “However, we encourage residents to remain vigilant against the virus and to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Isolation requirements for individuals with a confirmed positive COVID-19 test have not changed.

The Kent County Health Department is updating its guidance and communication materials to reflect this change.

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