Erie County Department of Health announces update to COVID-19 quarantine requirement

Posted at 1:27 PM, Nov 18, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) has announced an update to its COVID-19 quarantine requirement.

According to ECDOH, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) released new information to local health departments that allows for the reduction of the duration of a quarantine under certain conditions.

Beginning this week Erie County residents who are a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and not fully vaccinated can be released from quarantine after a full seven days from last exposure under the following conditions:

  • A diagnostic COVID-19 test– with a specimen collected and tested within 48 hours before the end of the planned quarantine discontinuation (i.e., after five days following last exposure) – is negative; and,
  • No symptoms are reported during daily monitoring

According to ECDOH, those who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 are not subject to quarantine as long as they remain symptom free.

"ECDOH contact tracers have begun to inform close contacts of this option as they make notifications about quarantine orders. Quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after completion of Day 7 (i.e., day 8). Acceptable COVID-19 tests include NAAT (PCR) tests or antigen tests conducted and reported by a licensed laboratory. At home test results will not be accepted for early release from quarantine. Positive home COVID-19 test results should be reported to ECDOH; call the COVID-19 Information Line at 716-858-2929 or use the online reporting form," a release says.

ECDOH said the change is in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and those who are released from quarantine early are strongly encouraged to continue to monitor for symptoms and wear a mask around others for two weeks following their last date of exposure.

Two documents have been added to the ECDOH site as well to provide to workplaces, schools or for travel that affirm quarantine or isolation periods.