PLATTSBURGH — The Clinton County Health Department announced Thursday that it was adopting U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance allowing people vaccinated against COVID-19 who meet certain criteria to forgo the quarantine requirement if exposed.
County Director of Public Health John Kanoza said his agency had received word from the state Wednesday that local health departments could adopt the guidance if they chose to do so.
Until formal state Department of Health guidance is issued, vaccinated Clinton County residents who have been exposed to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case will not have to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:
• They are fully vaccinated at the time of their exposure, meaning it has been two weeks or more since their second dose in a two-dose series or one dose in a single-dose vaccine.
• They are within three months following receipt of the last dose in the series at the time of their exposure.
• They have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.
• Their vaccination status can be verified in the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS), the state’s online portal that allows health care professionals access to vaccination histories.
According to a CCHD news release, determining eligibility will add another layer to contact tracing. Residents will still have to complete a contact interview to provide information for the verification process, and may have to quarantine while this is occurring.
“We ask that residents be patient with us while we work to ensure the eligibility criteria are met," CCHD Director of Health Planning and Promotion Mandy Snay said in a statement.
"We are committed to offering this leniency but want to be sure we are still protecting our community and minimizing the spread of COVID-19."
The release said there is currently limited information on how much vaccines might reduce transmission and how long protection from severe and symptomatic COVID-19 lasts, so CCHD continues to recommended that those who are vaccinated follow current guidance for protecting themselves and others.
“This includes wearing a mask, staying at least six feet away from others, avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly-ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, and washing hands often,” Kanoza said.
“CCHD will also continue to monitor new CDC and DOH guidance and will adjust its local approaches as new information becomes available.”
DOH has not issued new travel guidelines for vaccinated individuals. More information is available at coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.