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HomeNewsCalifornia Announces Covid-Positive Residents Can Now Attend School and Work

California Announces Covid-Positive Residents Can Now Attend School and Work

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California Announces Covid-Positive Residents Can Now Attend School and Work
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The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has set some new rules for Covid-positive residents. They released an updated COVID-19 advice, which takes a more liberal approach to isolation and testing. These new rules include allowing Covid-positive people who do not show symptoms to return to work and school. 

A couple of years ago, this would have been unspeakable and met with a lot of criticism, but this is not the case today. The director of the CDPH, Tomás Aragón, said these changes are only possible because of the “reduced impacts from COVID-19 compared to prior years.”

It is also important to bear in mind the pandemic’s evolving dynamics and the world’s understanding of the disease. In the last couple of years, people have built an elevated level of community immunity for many reasons.

Some are immune from prior infections, vaccination, or a combination of both. The widespread use of antiviral medicine is also a major factor to consider. Therefore, the CDPH believes it’ll do more good than harm to allow Covid-positive people to carry out their daily activities normally.

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“Overall, I think this is reasonable given the high proportion of kids with immunity against COVID, the alignment with how we approach other respiratory viruses, and the tools we have at our disposal to prevent and treat complications from COVID,” said Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious-disease expert at UCSF.

The CDPH focused mainly on symptoms when creating this new rule. Before, both symptomatic and asymptomatic people with COVID-19 had to be in isolation. Now, this is not the case anymore. 

For people without symptoms, they can resume their regular activities in school or work but must take precautions. This includes avoiding contact with high-risk persons for ten days and wearing a mask indoors during that time. If their symptoms show up, they are to follow the guide for symptomatic people. 

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Those with symptoms should go for testing immediately and always wear a mask while among people. In addition, they can resume their normal activities 24 hours after the symptoms stop.

Chin-Hong noted that these rules only work if people are willing to follow them diligently. “Note that this works only if the child is willing to wear a mask for the full ten days and if there is good ventilation in the schools,” he said. 

“Parents can be proactive by ensuring that kids are vaccinated — too few are at this time.” Another new rule by the CDPH is on testing. Before, everyone in contact with a Covid-positive person had tests done immediately. With the new rule, only people at higher risk, or those with new COVID-19 symptoms, will undergo testing.

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While these new rules are here, they do not cancel out some older rules. Employers must continue to recognize COVID-19 as a working hazard and notify the appropriate individuals if there has been close contact.

In addition, they have to provide work safety equipment such as face masks for employees. They also have to ensure the returning ones follow the new Covid rules appropriately. 

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