Niagara County implements "test out of quarantine" program

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Posted at 11:16 PM, Dec 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-14 23:16:26-05

NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. (WKBW) — Niagara County has implemented a ‘test out of quarantine policy.’

“Instead of people having to go through the usual 10-day quarantine period, this allows them to cut it back by three days,” Niagara County Public Health Director Dan Stapleton said.

You must complete at least 7 days of quarantine before testing out if you are unvaccinated and have a close contact. People who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after a close contact, unless they have symptoms, but should get tested 5-7 days after the exposure and wear a mask in public for 14 days after the exposure.

Stapleton said the discussion to put this program in place started with schools

“We want to make sure children are in schools as much as possible,” Stapleton said.

Stapleton said schools have testing providers for their students and staff. Anyone else must get a test at a county site or pharmacy. Stapleton said they have been working to ramp up testing at sites like Niagara County Community College. He said the county will accept almost any test, like a rapid test or PCR to get out of quarantine. Home kits will not be accepted.

“The person may not do it correctly and then reliability is not there,” Stapleton said. “But it doesn’t have to be a PCR.”

“I believe that the target approach can also help people,” Hochul said. “There may be people who will never get vaccinated.”

Governor Hochul said the state plans to distribute at home tests as well. And Stapleton said the test out of quarantine program in Niagara County will help everyone.

“The additional three days makes a difference to not only the employer but also the teacher and students,” Stapleton said.

Anyone who tests positive during their quarantine period “must isolate for ten days from either the onset of symptoms or the date of test if asymptomatic.”