COVID-19 quarantine protocols halved for low risk groups in Kittitas County


Bailey Tomlinson, News Editor


Per recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, the Kittitas County Incident Management Team (IMT) has made a second, shortened quarantine procedure for individuals that are not part of a high risk group for COVID-19 and have not interacted with someone who is.

The previous 14 day quarantine procedure, which has a 0% transmission chance according to the IMT, will remain the procedure for high risk groups. Groups that are not high risk may now choose to quarantine for half that time if a negative test can be produced at the end of the quarantine period. This information was announced via a Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) press release.

High risk groups were specified as including workers in acute or long-term healthcare, correctional facilities, shelters and crowded work situations such as warehouses or factories. People who live in communal housing are also considered high risk.

For those who are not high risk, the newly approved procedure includes quarantining for seven days and testing negative for COVID-19 at the end of that period. According to the IMT, this procedure has a 4% chance of transmission. 

A seven day quarantine without a test at the end has a 10% chance of transmission, the IMT said. Individuals who quarantine using the seven day procedure method should monitor symptoms after leaving quarantine, along with masking, social distancing and avoiding high-risk individuals.

Kittitas County chose to implement these two quarantine options to pursue “safety in high risk situations, and to also provide earlier release in less risky scenarios in order for individuals to return to school or work, sooner, with minimal risk,” the release said.