Mask distribution program, updated guidelines on isolation, and links to new home reporting system
By Andrew Harris
As the “omicron’ surge of covid-19 begins to impact Allegany County, health department officials have made several announcements to the public.
In response to the county infection rate and changing guidance on proper masks, the ACDOH will be providing free masks and other sanitary supplies, first come, first serve, at multiple locations over the next week. The Wellsville and Bolivar area sites are still to be announced.
The latest isolation/quarantine guidance
As the Center for Disease Control and the New York State Department of Health have adjusted guidelines for isolation/quarantine, our county health department offers this update and clarification:
New York State is experiencing record numbers of COVID-19 cases and extremely high hospitalizations that are stressing the healthcare system and public health response capacity. The New York State Department of Health(NYSDOH) has updated the guidance for isolation, quarantine, and the definition of “Fully Vaccinated” following the updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Below is a basic overview of the new guidance. The complete guidance from the NYSDOH is available on the Allegany County website at www.alleganyco.com.
- Healthcare workers:
- Fully Vaccinated* healthcare workers-COVID-19 positive, with no symptoms or mild symptoms and improving, the guidance for isolation is now 5 days.
- Un-boosted, Vaccinated healthcare workers-COVID-19 positive, with no symptoms or mild symptoms and improving, the guidance for isolation is now 5 days.
- Not vaccinated healthcare workers-COVID-19 positive the guidance for isolation is 10 days or 7 days with a negative test and no symptoms or mild symptoms and improving.
*The above is based on whether the facility is in conventional, contingency, or crisis staff strategy (https://www.alleganyco.com/wp-content/uploads/Healthcare-Setting-Return-to-Work-01_04_2022.pdf)
- The General Public that tests positive for COVID-19 the isolation period has changed to 5 days (for most), where day 0 is day of symptoms starting or if no symptoms, the day the test was completed.
- If no symptoms at the end of 5 days or if symptoms are improving, the isolation ends and the person should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional 5 days.
- Individuals who are unable to wear a well-fitting mask for 5 days after a 5-day isolation should also follow the regular 10-day isolation.
- The General Public, if exposed to COVID-19, quarantine as follows, where day 0 is the last date of exposure:
- If fully vaccinated* (with the booster at least 2 weeks before the first date of exposure) or not yet eligible for a booster, no quarantine is required but these individuals should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure.
- If not fully vaccinated* quarantine for 5 days and wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional 5 days
- If possible, test for COVID-19 at day 5.
- If symptoms appear, quarantine and seek testing. In this situation, quarantine would end when the test is negative. If testing is not done, isolate according to the guidance for isolation.
*The definition of fully vaccinated for COVID-19 has changed to include a COVID-19 booster shot when you are eligible (18 years and older). You are eligible for your booster dose if you’re:
- 16 years or older and it’s been at least 6 months since your initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine series
- 18 years or older and it’s been at least 6 months since your initial Moderna vaccine series
- 18 years or older and it’s been at least 2 months since your J&J vaccine
For additional information please visit the County webpage at www.alleganyco.com and look under Coronavirus Information where you can find links to guidance documents and other helpful resources.
Home Testing Reporting
Due to the amount of new cases and home test results being reported to the Allegany County Department of Health daily, the ACDOH has implemented an electronic COVID-19 Positive Home Test Reporting Form.
The form is to be filled out and submitted by the positive case unless the case is a minor. If the case is a minor, a parent or guardian may submit a form on their behalf. Each positive requires a new form. Once submitted, a member of our team will get back to you for tracing purposes within 3 days. Please click on the following link to access the form: https://hipaa.jotform.com/220054845953155
If you do not have a computer or internet access, you may call 585-268-9250 and leave your name and phone number. We will return your call to help you submit a form. Please isolate while waiting for a return call from a member of our staff.
The form can also be found on our website at: www.alleganyco.com under the Quick Links heading.