Confused about COVID-19 quarantine orders? Here’s the latest from Long Beach officials

With COVID-19 rates surging across the city, the Long Beach Health Department has issued new orders for isolating and quarantining that align with the Centers for Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health.

The orders come as Long Beach has seen record numbers of new infections fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant. The city on Dec. 30 reported 1,380 new cases, the highest single day number since the start of the pandemic nearly two years ago.

Here are the updated orders for isolating and quarantining if you are exposed or infected with COVID-19:

I’ve tested positive for COVID-19, how long do I have to isolate?

If you’ve tested positive, you are required to self-isolate for at least five days, regardless of your vaccination status, previous infection or lack of symptoms.

You should notify close contacts (such as household members, intimate partners and caregivers) as well as anyone else that may have exposed. Being exposed is defined as being within 6 feet of someone for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period while you were symptomatic.

After day five, you can end your self-isolation if you are: asymptomatic, or fever-free and your symptoms are improving, and you test negative on or after day five.

You are required to wear a mask around others while in isolation and for an additional five days after you isolation. Adults should wear a well-fitting medical grade mask (surgical or N95 respirator). Children should wear a well-fitting, non-cloth, surgical style mask of multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire.

If symptoms persist or you have a fever, you should continue to isolated until the fever resolves and symptoms improve. Anyone who hasn’t tested can end isolation on day 10 if symptoms are not present or are resolving.

I’ve been exposed to someone who has COVID-19. What should I do?

Anyone who is unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or fully vaccinated and eligible for a booster but has not yet received a booster dose must quarantine for at least five days after their last contact with the person.

If you’re exposed, you should test immediately, and if negative, must test again on day five after the last exposure to exit quarantine.

You also should wear a well-fitting medical grade mask while around others for 10 days after the exposure. Children should wear a well-fitting non-cloth surgical style mask of multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire

If symptoms occur, you should immediately isolate and test as soon as possible (do not wait until five days after exposure to retest if symptoms develop earlier) and, if positive, continue to self-isolate.

You may end quarantine after day five if you are asymptomatic and test negative on or after day five. If unable or unwilling to test, and symptoms are not present, quarantine can end on day 10.

I’ve been exposed but my vaccines are up to date and I’ve had a booster.  

If you’re fully vaccinated and you’ve had a COVID-19 booster, you do not need to quarantine following an exposure.

You should test immediately, and if negative, should test again on day five after the last contact. You must wear a well-fitting medical grade mask while around others for 10 days after the exposure. If symptoms occur, immediately isolate and test as soon as possible.

The Long Beach health order also requires masks for all individuals at indoor public settings and businesses, and outdoor mega events, regardless of vaccination status.

For the latest information on COVID-19, visit longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity and @LBHealthDept on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

People may also visit longbeach.gov/COVID19data for up-to-date information regarding cases and vaccines in Long Beach.

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Kelly Puente is an award-winning general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. She has worked as a journalist in Long Beach since 2006, covering everything from education and crime to courts and breaking news. Kelly previously worked at the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Orange County Register before joining the Post in 2018. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].
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