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WUPHD, PHDM move to 10-day quarantine period for COVID-19 close contacts

The health departments say anyone identified as a close contact must quarantine for 10 days, but may resume normal activities on days 11 through 14 while watching for symptoms.
Coronavirus in Upper Michigan graphic.
Coronavirus in Upper Michigan graphic.(WLUC/CDC)
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 5:26 PM EDT
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UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WLUC) - Two Upper Michigan health departments are immediately returning to 10-day quarantine period for COVID-19 close contacts.

In releases issued Friday, the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD) and Public Health Delta & Menominee Counties (PHDM) both announced the change. This change also applies to individuals currently quarantined for exposure to COVID-19 who were originally given a 14-day quarantine period. So, this change is effective for Baraga, Delta, Gogebic, Houghton, Keweenaw, Menominee and Ontonagon counties.

The health departments say anyone identified as a close contact to someone with COVID-19 must quarantine for 10 days and may resume normal activities on days 11 through 14; however, they must continue to self-monitor for symptoms on days 11 through 14 and immediately isolate and notify the health department if symptoms develop. WUPHD says that people who are two weeks past their completed COVID-19 vaccination series do not need to quarantine.

The purpose of quarantine is to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others to help prevent spread that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine must stay home, separate themselves from others (including other household members, when possible), and monitor their health for symptoms.

“The WUPHD has seen a decrease in cases for the majority of counties in our district and vaccination rates are close to 50%,” said Kate Beer, Health Officer for WUPHD. “The reduced quarantine time also takes into account concerns voiced from local schools, parents, and business owners regarding the burden of complying with a 14-day quarantine period.”

“We understand that frequent changes in quarantine length may be confusing and frustrating. We hope that taking this measure to reduce the length of quarantine will make it easier for residents of Delta and Menominee Counties to comply with quarantine and slow the spread of COVID-19,” states Michael Snyder, PHDM Health Officer.

If you are currently in quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19 and need assistance determining the new date you may resume normal activities in Delta or Menominee counties, please call the PDHM at 906-786-4111 during normal business hours.

PHDM and WUPHD encourage everyone who is currently eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

FOR PHDM: To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, call our Delta County office at 906-786-4111 or our Menominee County office at 906-863-4451. Many local healthcare providers and pharmacies also have COVID-19 vaccines available.

FOR WUPHD: For additional information, including what symptoms to look for or to schedule a vaccination appointment, please visit www.wuphd.org.

Getting vaccinated is not only important for protecting yourself and your friends and neighbors, it also has the benefit that people who are fully vaccinated and are later exposed to someone with COVID-19 are exempt from quarantine. Fully vaccinated means that at least two weeks have passed since you received the second dose of a two-dose series or one dose of a single-dose vaccine.

In addition to getting vaccinated, please continue to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others, stay 6 feet apart from others who do not live with you, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

For vaccination opportunities throughout Upper Michigan, click here.

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