VDH announces new contact tracing, quarantine protocols for COVID-19

It is important to still watch for symptoms of COVID-19 through 14 days after exposure, and continue wearing a mask, distancing and frequently washing hands.
Published: Dec. 7, 2020 at 3:20 PM EST
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(WDBJ) - The Virginia Department of Health delivered updated guidelines Monday surrounding the process of contact tracing and quarantining after positive cases of COVID-19. The agency says this is due to the substantial levels of COVID-19 community transmission that is currently adding to the case numbers.

Contact tracing

“Per new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), VDH may prioritize follow-up of cases and tracing of close contacts for the following groups:

  • People diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past six days and their household contacts
  • People living or working in or visiting congregate living facilities
  • People involved in known clusters or outbreaks”


-Those who test positive for COVID-19 are to stay home and away from others for at least ten days and help alert those who you may have been in close contact with.

-If you were exposed to a positive case of COVID-19, you are directed to stay home and away from others, and get tested for COVID-19 five-to-seven days after the exposure. Keep track of any symptoms.

The VDH and CDC continue their 14 day period of quarantine recommendation after the last exposure, however, the CDC has now added two new options that the Department of Health has now adopted for everyone other than healthcare workers and healthcare facilities (The CDC is still conducting further review on its revised guidelines. The VDH recommends that healthcare workers and those within healthcare facilities continue to use a 14-day quarantine until hearing otherwise).

1. People without symptoms may stop quarantining after day 10 without testing

2. People without symptoms may stop quarantining after day seven with a negative PCR or negative antigen test performed on or after day five

The Virginia Department of Health and CDC both stress the importance of continuing to follow social distancing and other current COVID-19 protocols meant to stop the spread along with these new procedures.

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