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Fitness Facts: New COVID guidance

By Connie Colbert
GCU Director of Health Services

The only consistent thing we can say about COVID-19 is that it is always inconsistent and ever changing.

If you were not aware of the new isolation and quarantine guidelines released on Dec. 27, I have provided some detail below along with the current science that prompted the change.

Connie Colbert

Per CDC, “Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation for the public. … The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. For a more in-depth look at these guidelines, see https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1227-isolation-quarantine-guidance.html.”

The new guidance is as follows:

If you test positive for COVID-19 (regardless of your vaccination status), you need to:

  • Isolate at home for 5 days from the day your symptoms started (or if asymptomatic, the day your test was conducted).
  • After isolating at home for 5 days:
    • If you have no symptoms, or your symptoms are improving, you can leave your house.
    • You need to wear a mask while around others for 5 additional days.

If you are a close contact to someone with COVID-19 and you:

  • Have received a COVID-19 booster; OR
  • Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months; OR
  • Completed the primary series of Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the last 2 months;

You need to:

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days following your exposure.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 on day 5 following your exposure, if possible.

If you develop symptoms, you should get tested for COVID-19 and stay home.

If you are a close contact to someone with COVID-19 and you:

  • Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted; OR
  • Completed the primary series of Johnson & Johnson vaccine over 2 months ago and are not boosted; OR
  • Are unvaccinated;

You need to:

  • Stay home for 5 days. After that, you must continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
    • If you are unable to quarantine, you must wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 on day 5 following your exposure, if possible.
  • If you develop symptoms, you should get tested for COVID-19 and stay home.

If you have had a known exposure or are not feeling well, stay home and get tested.

GCU provides two routes for testing on the ground campus:

  • Premier Labs is onsite (in the Trails parking lot) from 8 am to 6 pm Monday -Friday and 10 am to 6 pm Saturday and Sunday.
  • Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic, located in Papago Apartments (Building 47) is open 8 am-5:30 pm Monday-Friday.

Both sites can perform both the quick antigen tests and PCR tests. Quick test results return within 15 minutes, PCR results in 24-48 hours.

As always, it is it important for everyone to continue to take prevention steps to help stop the spread:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Get tested.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

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