More than three years after the Covid-19 pandemic began, San Benito County Health & Human Services Agency and Public Health Services are adopting the California Department of Public Health’s updated guidelines—including reduced isolation and quarantine for infected people and the elimination of all public masking requirements.
“Since March of 2020, we have made tremendous progress in learning to live with this virus. Social distancing, widespread testing, masking and vaccination have all contributed to minimizing deaths in our community and prevented our healthcare system from being overwhelmed,” said Dr. David Ghilarducci, Health Officer for San Benito County. “As we begin our fourth year in responding to this crisis, Covid-19 continues to take a toll on our most vulnerable, unvaccinated individuals, but our healthcare system is no longer facing the same threat from this pandemic.”
Local public health officials announced last that week that, In alignment with CDPH, San Benito County Public Health Services will be making the following changes to existing Covid-19 guidance:
– Reduced isolation after a positive Covid-19 test. Effective March 17, for the general public isolation can end after day five after a positive test if symptoms are not present or are mild and improving; AND the infected person is fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication).
If a fever is present, isolation should continue for an additional 24 hours after fever resolves, says a press release from San Benito County. This update removes the recommendation to test in order to leave isolation before day ten.
– Masking in high-risk and healthcare settings. Beginning April 3, masks will no longer be a mandatory requirement in indoor high-risk and healthcare settings for staff, residents or visitors, says the press release. Individual entities retain the right to implement their own masking requirement. This includes healthcare, long-term care and correctional facilities, as well as homeless, emergency and warming/cooling centers.
The press release continues, “Additionally, San Benito County Public Health Services would like to remind the community Covid-19 resources such as vaccines, tests and treatment remain available through some providers and pharmacies.”
Treatment is available through providers and some pharmacies; individuals who are uninsured or cannot get timely treatment can call 833.686.5051 or visit sesamecare.com/covidca.
For questions or inquiries, call Public Health Services at 831.637.5367 between 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday.