As the county and state address the surge in COVID-19 cases and positivity rates because of the Omicron variant, the Dorchester County Health Department wishes to remind residents about the latest guidance on isolations, quarantines, vaccines, boosters, and masks.
“The current surge in COVID-19 cases is putting tremendous pressure on our medical system, especially our emergency medical services personnel and our hospitals. Do your part and help our frontline workers and your community by getting vaccinated and boosted and by wearing a mask in public indoor spaces,” Roger L. Harrell, Dorchester County health officer, said.
“In addition to vaccines and masks, we urge you to avoid crowds when possible, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands. These common-sense measures remain our best practices for reducing the spread of coronavirus,” Harrell said.
COVID-19 vaccination decreases the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. The Dorchester County Health Department strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 5 and older and boosters for everyone 12 and older who completed a primary series of Pfizer and Moderna at least 5 months ago or J&J at least 2 months ago.
Along with getting vaccinated and boosted, wearing a well-fitting mask over your mouth and nose in indoor public settings or crowds is crucial to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. With the highly contagious Omicron variant spreading in our community, experts recommend you upgrade to a high-filtration mask, like a KN95 or N95, if you want optimal protection. (See attached graphic)
Isolation (For persons who have confirmed or suspected COVID-19):
- Isolate for 5 days from symptom onset or date of positive test. Day 1 is the first day of symptoms or date of positive test.
- May return to work/school on day 6 with no symptoms or symptoms resolving (fever free for 24 hours without medication).
- Should wear a mask around others for an additional 5 days.
- If unable to mask, remain home for a full 10 days.
- Individuals who are severely ill with COVID-19 or who have a weakened immune system should isolate for at least 10 and up to 20 days. Consult your healthcare provider.
Quarantine (For persons who are exposed to someone with COVID-19):
Fully vaccinated individuals (completed primary series or booster) who have close contact with a positive individual or those who had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days:
- Are not required to quarantine if they remain asymptomatic.
- Should continue to appropriately wear a mask when around others.
- Are recommended to get a PCR test at least 5 days after close contact (persons with confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days do not need to test).
Unvaccinated individuals (includes those who have not received booster in designated period) who have close contact with a positive individual:
- Should stay home and quarantine and monitor for symptoms for 5 days (day 1 is considered the first full day after the last date of close contact).
- If no symptoms, should get a PCR test at least 5 days after close contact.
- If the test is positive follow the previously listed guidelines for isolation/confirmed COVID-19.
- If unable to mask, remain home for a full 10 days from the date of the last close contact.
Click here for full details on the CDC’s isolation and quarantine guidance.
For more information:
For all COVID-19 inquiries, such as scheduling an appointment for testing or vaccination, please call our COVID-19 Satellite Center at 410-228-0235.
Pre-register online or call 410-228-0235 to schedule an appointment for the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine at the Dorchester County Health Department. For information about community vaccination clinics, please call 410-228-0235 as locations and times vary.