Citing a need to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help protect vulnerable individuals, Butte County Public Health (BCPH) has reinforced protocols for isolation and quarantine. Dr. David Canton, the county’s interim health officer, issued orders today (Oct. 18) affecting patients and residents who have potentially been exposed to COVID.
The order to self-isolate at home applies to anyone with a positive test; showing symptoms within 14 days of close contact with someone ill or testing positive; or informed by a health-care provider that they likely have COVID. The order to quarantine (with varied actions based on vaccination and testing status) applies to close contact within 6 feet of an infected person during their contagious period for at least 15 minutes cumulatively over a 24-hour period.
The county crossed the 20,000-case mark last week (20,182 as of Monday afternoon) with 265 deaths confirmed by viral test and 19,847 released from isolation. There were 335 residents in isolation and 62 hospitalized.
Lisa Almaguer of BCPH told the CN&R that while the county has required isolation and quarantine since the start of the pandemic, this is the first mandate from the local health officer.
“Until now, Public Health staff has worked to obtain voluntary compliance through education and information,” Almaguer said by email. “Recently, BCPH became aware of guidance documents issued by CDPH [state public health officials] that referred to isolation and quarantine as a ‘recommendation.’ BCPH issued these local orders to make it clear that isolation and quarantine continue to be required in Butte County.”
Canton started as interim health officer Oct. 1. After Dr. Robert Bernstein resigned Sept. 3, the interim position was temporarily held by Dr. Ngoc-Phuong Luu, public health officer of Yuba and Sutter counties. Canton’s term is set to run through March.