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Florida Department of Health in Duval County Implements 10-Day Quarantine Period for Close Contacts of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

By Samantha Epstein

December 08, 2020

 

Jacksonville, Florida - The recent announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding a shortened quarantine period for those exposed to COVID-19 has prompted many questions in the community; as a result, Florida Department of Health in Duval County (DOH-Duval) seeks to clarify its current approach to the quarantining of close contacts.

“We want to address the new CDC guidance regarding the shortened quarantine period for asymptomatic contacts and how the change will affect us locally,” said Tawanda Washington, Assistant Nursing Director and COVID-19 Incident Commander, DOH-Duval. “It is important to point out that CDC still recommends and recognizes the 14-day quarantine period as ‘the best way to reduce community spread’.”

Local public health authorities determine and establish the quarantine options for their jurisdictions. DOH-Duval is a part of an integrated state health department system and works in conjunction with the state office and other county health departments to establish and implement policies and procedures.

CDC currently recommends a quarantine period of 14 days. Shortened quarantine periods are an acceptable alternative to the already established 14-day quarantine period; however, the decision to reduce the time period should be based on local circumstances and resources. In light of CDC’s new developments and local COVID-19 conditions in Jacksonville, Florida, DOH-Duval will implement a new, 10-day quarantine period BUT ONLY for asymptomatic close contacts. 

Asymptomatic contacts can be released from quarantine after 10 days have passed only if the following criteria is met: 

  • Quarantining measures are followed as recommended.
  • No symptoms have developed.
  • There is a continued ability to wear a mask, practice good hand hygiene, and socially distance for the full 14-day period.
  • Symptoms are monitored for the full 14-day period. 

Additional Guidance: 

  • Reminder: a close contact is defined as any individual, even those who wore a cloth mask or face shield, that was within 6 feet of a confirmed positive for a cumulative 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period, while the confirmed positive was infectious. Those who use full PPE with face shield and surgical masks or N95 respirators would only be identified as a close contact if there was a breach in their PPE protection.
  • For students who are involved in contact sports: these activities can only be resumed after the full 14-day period.
  • The 14-day quarantine period will remain for individuals who live in congregate settings, such as assisted living facilities.
  • The isolation period will remain the same for confirmed positive cases.
  • The 10-day quarantine period will not apply to any contact of a confirmed case who tests positive or develops symptoms.

Additional updates will be provided as they develop. For any COVID-19 questions or concerns, please call DOH-Duval’s dedicated COVID-19 line: (904) 253-1850. For more information on CDC’s new quarantine options, visit the CDC’s webpage

About the Florida Department of Health 

The Department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov