With respiratory virus transmission and hospitalizations remaining elevated in Pasadena and across Los Angeles County, Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) is asking residents to help limit exposures and take common sense precautions against the spread of COVID-19, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
On January 9, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated the State Public Health Officer Order for COVID-19 Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. These updates reflect changes to home isolation guidance for people who test positive for COVID-19, recommended testing for close contacts, and the definition of “infectious period” for isolation purposes.
PPHD summarizes the isolation guidance for all persons who test positive for COVID-19, including those who are asymptomatic:
- Stay home if you have COVID-19 symptoms until you are fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication AND other COVID-19 symptoms are mild and improving. If you do not have symptoms, follow the recommendations below to reduce exposure to others.
- Mask when you are around other people indoors for the 10 days after you become sick or test positive (if no symptoms). You may remove your mask sooner than 10 days if you have two sequential negative tests at least one day apart. Day 0 is either the symptom onset date or positive test date.
- Avoid contact with people at higher-risk for severe COVID-19 for 10 days. Higher-risk individuals include the elderly, those who live in congregate care facilities, those who have immunocompromising conditions, and those with other conditions that put them at higher risk for serious illness.
- Seek treatment if you have symptoms, particularly if you are at higher risk for severe COVID-19, by speaking with a healthcare provider as soon as you test positive. You may be eligible for antiviral medicines or other treatments for COVID-19. COVID-19 antiviral medicines work best if taken as soon as possible, and within 5-7 days from when symptoms start.
In addition, PPHD recommends the following protective measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission:
- Test if you have are a close contact to someone who is a confirmed case for COVID-19 immediately if you have symptoms and within 3-5 days of their last exposure date if you are not symptomatic. With easy access to at-home testing for COVID-19, it is important for individuals to assess their status if they have respiratory symptoms or had a known exposure to a person infected with COVID-19.
- Workplaces, organizations and schools have the ability to implement more protective policies to protect their employees, students and customers, including adhering to the prior guidance on isolation for those testing positive for COVID-19.
- With respiratory viruses expected to remain in circulation for weeks to come, it’s not too late to get the updated COVID-19 and flu vaccines. Both vaccines remain effective at reducing severe illness and are recommended for everyone 6 months and older.
“COVID-19 is a preventable disease,” reminds Pasadena Interim Health Officer, Dr. Parveen Kaur. “We can all do our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases by staying home when sick, masking, and getting vaccinated.”