The Webster County Public Health Dept. released the following statement regarding new masking guidelines from the Iowa Dept. Of Public Health. The statement is below.
The Iowa Department of Public Health announced new quarantine guidance Tuesday that will affect people who have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19. Webster County Public Health will begin implementing the guidance immediately. This guidance includes:
Close contacts of COVID-positive cases will no longer be required to quarantine for 14 days if a face covering was consistently and correctly worn by both the positive person and the close contact during the exposure.
Close contact exposures will still need to self-monitor symptoms over the subsequent 14 days, staying home if any symptoms develop, and speaking with a healthcare provider about COVID-19 testing in the case of any illness. If individuals who are self-monitoring become ill but do not get tested, they should remain at home until 10 days after symptom onset.
A cloth face covering is acceptable as long as it is worn correctly and covers the mouth and nose. However, a face shield is not considered to be a face covering, and quarantine will still be required if one or both people were wearing a face shield only.
The new guidance is NOT a replacement for social distancing. Social distancing creates an added protection and should be practiced as an extra precaution.
It is imperative that people who are sick still remain at home so as not to potentially expose others. If you are not sure if your symptoms are COVID related, remain at home until you know for sure.
People currently in quarantine may discontinue their quarantine if both people were correctly wearing a face covering during the time of exposure. If you aren’t sure if this is applicable to you, please contact Webster County Public Health at 515-573-4107.
Household/residential contacts and contacts in health care settings will still have the 14 day quarantine recommendation.
COVID-19 testing remains available in Webster County by contacting your healthcare provider.
This does not change the isolation requirements for people who are COVID positive and/or sick. COVID positive individuals must follow CDC requirements to isolate until:
They have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicines AND other symptoms have improved, AND
At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared OR since they had a positive COVID test if they are asymptomatic.
“As we continue into this pandemic and also enter into flu season, mask wearing is a good public health practice as masks will contain the spread of many germs including COVID-19, influenza, and other viruses,” said Kari Prescott, Webster County Public Health Department Director. “This new guidance requires that both parties wear masks. If one person isn’t wearing a mask or isn’t wearing it properly, then the exposed person will still have to quarantine.”