New DHEC guidance provides shortened quarantine alternatives; HCS to stick with 14-day quarantine plans

New DHEC guidance provides shortened quarantine alternatives; HCS to stick with 14-day quarantine plans
The Centers for Disease Control recently provided guidance on options to reduce quarantine periods. (Source: WBRC)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - At a Horry County School Board meeting Monday night, district board members decided to stick with their current 14-day quarantine period for close contact COVID-19 cases.

District staff members said they recommended the board stick with the plan after analyzing current HCS COVID-19 data trends.

School leaders also expressed concerns about the staff needed to accommodate increased monitoring and reporting outlined in the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s latest guidance which provides alternatives to a 14-day quarantine.

FORGING AHEAD | WMBF’s investigative series into S.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

Just this week DHEC provided updated guidance to state school districts in light of a change in guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new recommendations offer two options to reduce the quarantine period to less than 14 days. The CDC says a person can end quarantine:

1) after 10 days without testing and if no symptoms were reported during daily symptom monitoring.

2) after seven days if a viral test is negative and if no symptoms were reported during daily symptom monitoring.

However, according to DHEC and the CDC, in this second option the viral test must be collected no sooner than day five, but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than the completion of day seven. A blood test for antibodies may not be used in place of a viral test to shorten quarantine.

DHEC points out these shortened quarantine options may not be the best for everyone, stating those who work with or care for people at high risk of very bad infection should consider completing a full 14-day quarantine.

Copyright 2020 WMBF. All rights reserved.