County will follow CDC Recommendations
MAYVILLE, NY – The Chautauqua County Health Department reports that it is adopting the quarantine recommendations for fully vaccinated persons issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks (14 days) after receiving their second dose of either of the approved COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna). An individual who is considered fully vaccinated may be exempt from quarantine for up to 90 days.
On February 11, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York State was adopting the CDC recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals released the same day. Although the official written State guidance has not yet been released, local health departments have been told that they may move forward with adopting the recommendations.
Moving forward, most fully vaccinated persons (2 weeks post-second vaccine) who are showing no symptoms of COVID-19 are exempt from quarantine due to close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and travel quarantine requirements. The quarantine exemption includes fully vaccinated individuals who travel within the U.S. because travelers are required to quarantine out of caution that they may unknowingly be a close contact to someone with COVID-19.
However, there are some exceptions to the new quarantine guidance. According to the guidance of the CDC, fully-vaccinated hospitalized persons and fully-vaccinated residents of healthcare settings who are exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case should not be exempted from quarantine. This exception is due to the unknown vaccine effectiveness in these specific populations, the higher risk of severe disease and death, and challenges with social/physical distancing in healthcare settings.
“Isolation and quarantine have been critical tools in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” stated Christine Schuyler, Public Health Director. “However, quarantine can present financial hardships for families and staffing issues for employers. Highly effective COVID-19 vaccines reduce the chances of getting really sick and dying of COVID-19 and new data suggests that they can help protect those around us from getting sick. Reducing the number of people being ordered to quarantine is one small but important step toward normalcy.”
Up until this change, any individual identified as a close contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19 was required to quarantine for a minimum of ten days following exposure. Any individual returning to New York State from a non-contiguous state was also required to quarantine for ten days upon returning to New York State, unless they tested out per the NYS guidelines.
The dates for quarantine exemption may be extended past the 90-day mark as research and information about vaccine effectiveness becomes more readily available and additional recommendations are made by the CDC and New York State Department of Health.
Vaccination does not alleviate the need to adhere to mitigation measures and NY Forward reopening guidelines and is not expected to for at least some time. Everyone, including fully vaccinated persons, must continue to wear masks, wash hands frequently, practice social distancing avoiding close contact.