Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


DHEC updates COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidance

Doctor/Nurse with Swab Test Sample in Hospital, PCR Device

Photo: Getty Images

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The state health department updated its guidelines for COVID-19 quarantine and isolation on Thursday.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s updated guidelines follow the updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday.

DHEC says individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should stay at home and avoid in-person contact for at least five days. If symptom-free after five days, DHEC says the individual can end isolation but must wear a mask around others for another five days.

DHEC says individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine based on vaccination status.

Health officials say individuals who have received all vaccine doses they are eligible for, so initial vaccination series and booster for ages 16 and up or an initial vaccine series for ages 5-15, do not need to quarantine. DHEC recommends those individuals get tested after five days and wear and mask around others for ten days.

Individuals who have not been vaccinated or those who have received an initial vaccination series and are booster eligible, but have not received the booster yet need to quarantine for five, DHEC says. Health officials recommend those individuals get tested on day five and wear a mask for another five days.

DHEC says healthcare workers who are not vaccinated or have not received a booster when eligible may wear a mask for ten days if “quarantine is not feasible with maintaining patient care” with a negative test and no symptoms. Health officials say this should be a last resort option when other staffing is not available.

State health officials say they support the CDC’s test to stay guidance for schools. DHEC says they have concerns about the availability of tests, staff capacity to give the tests and equity among school districts, but say they will work with schools to make rapid testing as available as possible.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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