SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — With the recent changes to the guidance for those who have been infected or exposed to COVID-19, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department has created a new online tool to help determine what isolation and quarantine guidance an individual should follow.
The questionnaire is based on guidance from the CDC. The new CDC guidance has shortened the time of isolation and draws a distinction in quarantine guidance for those who have rece4ived a booster shot.
Those who test positive for COVID-19
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should isolate themselves at home and away from others for at least five days after testing positive.
Isolation can end after 5 days if an individual is asymptomatic or resolved of symptoms.
A mask should be worn around others for at least 5 days post-isolation. Those with fever should continue to isolate until it resolves.
Those who are exposed to COVID-19
Exposure occurs when a person comes into close contact for more than 15 minutes and within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19.
Individuals who are not fully vaccinated or completed vaccination more than 6 months ago for Pfizer or Moderna or over 2 months ago for those that received Johnson & Johnson and have not received a booster dose are required to quarantine according to CDC guidance.
Quarantine following a COVID-19 exposure should last for 5 days followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others.
Those who have received a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or become fully vaccinated within the last 6 months with Pfizer or Moderna or 2 months for those that received Johnson & Johnson, are not required to quarantine but must mask around others for 10 days.
Those who begin experiencing symptoms should quarantine until they are able to get tested.
Anyone who is exposed to COVID-19 should get tested 5 days after the exposure occurs (see testing information below).
Appointments are required for COVID-19 testing at the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and can now be made online or by calling the COVID-19 Call Center at 417-874-1211. Individuals who book an appointment will receive a test at the Health Department Vaccination Clinic, located at 1425 E. Battlefield Road.
The tests are administered via a throat swab and results will be made available within 24 – 72 hours (about 3 days).
Those with the health department said they understand that the new guidance can be confusing because there are a number of factors that play into what someone should do.
“What we don’t want is for people to not be able to find the best, most recent, information and for them to get frustrated with the process, throw their hands up, and then not follow the guidance, or misunderstand the guidance because it’s not clear,” said Aaron Schekorra, Springfield-Greene County Health Department Public Health Information Administrator.
Local business owners said the new guidance will help.
“We have dealt with COVID quite a lot through the shop here lately,” said Brian Delling, CBD Republic Sales Associate. “The shorter time frame definitely will make a big difference as far as our employees go and not spreading us so thin because that’s what has happened.”
“It impacted my wallet, my money, my customers,” said Andrew Anderson, All-Star Barber Shop Barber. “We had to do Christmas through a window this year because of COVID. It is what it is, five is a lot better than 10.”
Schekorra said the online tool is an easy questionnaire.
“Basically you just click through and answer those questions,” Schekorra said. “There is a lot of questions but you’re only going to see like three or four of them because there are a lot of different situations that you could find yourself in.”
He said the health department is encouraging people who are eligible to get their booster shot since it does play into this new guidance.