By Henry Netherland
Pathfinder 

Health Department implements seven day quarantine period

 


MISSOULA COUNTY - Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) is shortening their quarantine period to seven days for COVID-19 close contacts who meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria. Close contacts are defined as individuals who have collectively spent 15 minutes or more within six feet of a person infected with COVID-19 during a time period when the infected person was considered contagious.

Close contacts who remain symptom-free since their exposure and receive a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result on or after day five of their exposure will now be released from quarantine after seven days. MCCHD will need to receive and verify documentation of a negative test result prior to an individual’s quarantine release. 

Individuals are asked to quarantine until MCCHD staff officially releases them. Those who are symptom-free after their exposure, but decline to be tested for COVID-19, will be released from quarantine after 10 days.

Close contacts who report any history of symptoms since their exposure will not be eligible for release earlier than 14 days. This includes reports of mild symptoms or those who attribute their symptoms to chronic conditions. Close contacts, staff and residents associated with high-risk facilities such as long-term care facilities and detention centers, will also be required to complete quarantine for 14 days.


Individuals who are fully vaccinated and who are 14 days out from their final dose will not be required to quarantine if they are exposed to COVID-19 as long as they do not develop symptoms. An exception to this is fully vaccinated residents in congregate settings due to the risk of an outbreak. In those cases, individuals must quarantine for 14 days.

All MCCHD COVID-19 testing is free. Missoula County residents experiencing symptoms are encouraged to get tested.

County residents in specific occupations are also welcome to get tested regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms to screen for the symptomless spread of the virus. Occupations that qualify include: healthcare workers; school personnel (teachers, childcare staff, janitors, etc.); first responders; grocery store workers; food service workers; gym workers; public transit workers; personal care workers (hair stylists, nail technicians, tattoo artists, etc.); government workers; and guests, residents, and staff of congregate settings. Individuals who opt to get tested while having no symptoms and no known contact to a positive case are not required to quarantine while awaiting their results. 


MCCHD provides testing in Seeley Lake through their mobile testing unit on Tuesdays from 1 - 3 p.m. in the Seeley Lake Community Foundation parking lot. Test appointments can be made by calling (406) 258-INFO and choosing option two.

 

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