By Miriam Raftery
December 28, 2021 (San Diego) – If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms, you only have to isolate for five days instead of ten – but you should wear a well-fitting mask for an additional five days when around other people if you are unvaccinated or haven’t had a booster shot.
If you’ve had a booster shot in addition to the vaccine, you don’t have to quarantine at all if you don’t have symptoms, but should wear a mask for 10 days after exposure, when around others.
If you do have symptoms, isolate until a negative test confirms that you don’t have COVID. Anyone exposed to COVID should get tested five days after exposure.
Those are the new guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which the state and county have announced they will follow. The rules do not apply to healthcare workers, however.
“The County is following the CDC guidance because science shows the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, typically 1-2 days prior to developing symptoms and the 2-3 days after,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “People with no symptoms can leave isolation after that, provided they wear an appropriate mask to decrease the risk to others.”
“The new guidance also works to slow the spread of the Omicron variant, which has led to a significant increase in cases nationally and in San Diego County,” Wooten said.
The County has reported a considerable increase in COVID-19 cases in recent days, with daily case counts reaching over 2,300 cases four out of the past six days.
County health officials are urging San Diegans to take every precaution necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 during the winter months.
In addition to the County testing sites, many neighborhood pharmacies offer same-day testing. Here’s a list of other locations where people can get COVID-19 tests. The overall testing system has the capacity to meet demand. However, testing traffic can surge and sites can be very busy.
The County is recommending for people not to go to a hospital for COVID-19 testing, to contact their health care provider if they have symptoms and need testing, and to get CA Notify to receive alerts if they were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Rapid antigen tests, which are available at many local pharmacies, are a good option if a testing site is unavailable.
Also, the region now has plenty of COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses, which remain the best long-term protection against COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.
There are more than 400 vaccination sites that include pharmacies, medical providers, clinics and County locations; the region has the capacity to meet demand. You can also make an appointment or find a site near you by calling (833) 422-4255 or visiting the MyTurn or coronavirus-sd.com websites.