MALONE — Franklin County Public Health announced Friday its adoption of federal COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidance as well as a shift to a self-serve process.

SELF-SERVE PROCESS

Those who test positive on any test authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug administration can can review isolation and quarantine guidelines and, if needed for work, school or other purposes, complete a self-affirmation of isolation or quarantine form online, which will be sent to their emails, FCPH said in a press release.

That form is available at https://tinyurl.com/2p98xzah.

"These forms may be used as if they were an order for isolation issued by the Franklin County Public Health director," the agency said. "Residents may not get a call from FCPH or a state case investigator/contact tracer and they do not need to call the health department to report cases or contacts."

It is important for those who test positive to notify other people who may have been exposed, FCPH added.

FCPH Director Kathleen Strack explained that the basic elements of quarantine and isolation are not changing, but the process now emphasizes personal responsibility for doing the right thing.

Residents who yield positive results from at-home or over-the-counter tests are asked to report them to FCPH at the link above, as well as their health care providers to determine if further evaluation and/or treatment is necessary.

FCPH noted that at-home tests that sync to an app or are sent out to a lab are automatically reported.

SHORTENED ISOLATION

Like its Clinton and Essex county counterparts, FCPH is aligning with the state Department of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's updated isolation and quarantine recommendations, which shorten those periods in certain situations.

For isolation (for those who have tested positive):

• Isolate for five days, where day zero is the day of symptom onset or (if asymptomatic) the day the test was administered.

- If asymptomatic at the end of five days or if symptoms are resolving, isolation ends and the individual should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional five days.

- Individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, or who are unable to wear a well-fitting mask for five days after a five-day isolation, should continue to follow standard (i.e., not shortened) isolation guidance.

For those exposed to COVID-19, quarantine as follows, where day zero is the last date of exposure:

• If not fully vaccinated or fully vaccinated and eligible for a booster but not yet boosted, quarantine for five days and wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional five days.

• If fully vaccinated and boosted (with the booster at least two 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 possible, test at day 5 with a nucleic acid amplification (NAAT) test, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or antigen test.

• 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 above.

AT-HOME TEST KITS

The county also announced how it plans to distribute the nearly 2,300 at-home COVID-19 test kits it has received from New York State.

"Unfortunately, this amount is not enough to distribute to everyone in the county," County Manager Donna Kissane acknowledged in her daily COVID update email. 

"As a result, a supply of kits will be distributed to low-income housing complexes, homeless shelters, the Office for the Aging, Veterans Affairs, the Department of Social Services and JCEO programs in Franklin County. We will continue to advocate for more kits in hopes that a broader distribution can be made."

 

 

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