Contact Tracing: Isolation & Quarantine

Household Isolation and Quarantine

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Click this Link) 

 

The Ohio Department of Health classifies COVID-19 as a Class A reportable Communicable Disease. As such, according to the Ohio Revised Code 3707.08 and 3707.16 Contact Tracing is required. The Portage County Combined General Health District continues to conduct contact tracing commencing with each confirmed positive COVID-19 individual. 

Contacts

Close contact is defined as: someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes (total/cumulative time) starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic clients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. Additionally, a person would be considered a close contact if they provided care in the home to someone who is sick with COVID-19, had direct physical contact with them (e.g., hugged or kissed them), shared eating or drinking utensils, or had unprotected direct contact with infectious secretions or excretions of the infected person (e.g., was coughed/sneezed on, touched used tissues with a bare hand). Data are limited to precisely define prolonged exposure to determine “close contact”, however 15 minutes of close exposure can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation. Factors to consider when defining close contact include proximity, the duration of exposure (e.g., longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk) and whether the individual has symptoms (e.g., coughing likely increases exposure risk).  Close contacts of a confirmed or probable case will be quarantined. The quarantine of close contacts for a confirmed or probable case is the most important mitigation strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Vaccination status as well as other prevention measures are considered to determine quarantine status.

Prevention and Control

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to COVID-19. The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or breathes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

To prevent illness:

• Get vaccinated (If age eligible)

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay at home as much as possible, and put distance between yourself and other people.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

• If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.