Health official says new guidelines recommend travelers quarantine for full 14 days despite negative test

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – As we continue to see travel-related cases across our region, health officials are now urging to wait out 14-day quarantine period even if they have a negative result.

Because someone could be exposed at any point in their travel, Dr. Anita Stewart with the Fayette County Health Department says this is now a new recommendation from the CDC to wait it out fully before returning to work or everyday life. 

“If you’ve had travel or something like that, you would still need to quarantine for 14 days, so it doesn’t preclude the quarantine after the travel,” she said. “If you have a high-risk contact, meaning you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you’ve been caring for someone with COVID-19, then certainly we would advocate for you to be tested.” 

Because of the lab backup, they are strongly advocating for close contacts to definitely be tested immediately and of course those with symptoms, even if it is just one of the many. 

“We want to test anyone with symptoms,” Dr. Stewart said. “That could be loss of taste or smell is a very specific one. Fever, cough, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache and fatigue are the big ones related to COVID-19, so if you’re having any of those symptoms, it’s likely not a sinus infection. It could be COVID-19.”

If you’re not traveling, the main thing Dr. Stewart wants people to remember is to be aware of group size, as well as who is in the group and that everyone is social distancing and wearing a face covering when that is not possible. 

She also says that if you are experiencing symptoms, it is vital that you self isolate and that your home unit quarantines as well.

“We can get through this together,” she said. “It’s the little things that seem really simple that if we can adhere to those things it can make a huge difference for our community.” 

The health department tested in Mt. Hope at Kilsyth Freewill Baptist Church on Monday and will be at the Hazel Ruby West Virginia Welcome Center in Mt. Hope on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.