LONG BEACH – The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) has issued updated Isolation and Quarantine Orders and an updated Health Order, all of which took effect on Jan. 4. These orders align with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance for community-related exposure to COVID-19. Below are highlights of the new orders:
Those who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, previous infection or lack of symptoms, will be required to self-isolate for at least five days. Those who test positive also should notify close contacts (such as household members, intimate partners and caregivers) as well as anyone else they may have exposed. Being exposed is defined as being within six feet of someone for a cumulative 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period while they were symptomatic.
People may only end their self-isolation after day five of isolation if they are asymptomatic, or fever-free and their symptoms are improving, and they test negative on or after day five. People in isolation are required to wear a mask around others, both indoors – such as at home if living with other people – and outdoors. This applies both during isolation and for an additional five days afterward (10 days total). Adults should wear a well-fitting medical grade mask (surgical or N95 respirator). Children should wear a well-fitting, non-cloth, surgical style mask of multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire.
If symptoms persist or a fever is present, isolation should continue until the fever resolves and symptoms improve. Anyone unable or unwilling to test may end isolation on day 10 if symptoms are not present or are resolving.
Exposed, Required to Quarantine
Those who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or fully vaccinated and eligible for a booster but have not yet received their booster dose, who come in close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19 must quarantine for at least five days after their last contact with the person. People who are exposed should test immediately after contact and, if negative, must test again on day five after their last exposure to exit quarantine. Further, they must wear a well-fitting medical grade mask (surgical or N95 respirator) while around others, indoors and outdoors, for 10 days after the exposure. Children should wear a well-fitting non-cloth surgical style mask of multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately isolate and test as soon as possible (do not wait until five days after exposure to retest if symptoms develop earlier) and, if positive, continue to self-isolate as described above.
People only may end their quarantine period after day five if they are asymptomatic and test negative on or after day five. If unable or unwilling to test, and symptoms are not present, quarantine can end on day 10.
Exposed, Not Required to Quarantine if COVID Vaccines Up to Date
Individuals who are fully vaccinated and have received their COVID-19 vaccine booster, if eligible, do not need to quarantine following a COVID-19 exposure. They should test immediately, and if negative, should test again on day five after the last contact with the person who has COVID-19. Further, they must wear a well-fitting medical grade mask (surgical or N95 respirator) while around others, indoors and outdoors, for 10 days after the exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately isolate and test as soon as possible (do not wait until five days after exposure to retest if symptoms develop earlier) and, if positive, continue to self-isolate as described above.
In workplaces, most employers and businesses are subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) and some to the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Standards and should consult those regulations for additional requirements. The ETS allow local health jurisdictions to require more protective mandates. This Health Order, which requires masking of all individuals at indoor public settings and businesses, and outdoor mega events, regardless of vaccination status, is a such a mandate, and overrides the more permissive ETS regarding employee masking.
Lowered Thresholds for Mega Events
The threshold for indoor mega events is lowered to 500 attendees and outdoor mega events to 5,000 attendees.
In establishments and settings with active outbreaks, quarantine and isolation may be extended for additional days by City Public Health outbreak investigators to help lower the risk of ongoing transmission at the site. Healthcare personnel in any setting must comply with the State’s Guidance on Quarantine for Health Care Personnel (HCP) Exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and Return to Work for HCP with COVID-19, as described in AFL-21-08.6.
As soon as practicable, all employers and businesses must provide and require on-site employees, assigned or contracted workers or volunteers to wear a surgical mask or higher-level respirator approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), such as an N95 filtering facepiece respirator, at all times while indoors at the worksite or facility.
Additional Background Information
The City of Long Beach has seen a steep rise in cases following the introduction of the Omicron variant. On Dec. 30, the City reported the highest number of cases in a single day since the pandemic began: 1,380. The 7-day daily case rate is 106.1 per 100,000 and the positivity rate is 16.6%, putting our transmission level back from Substantial to High.
Hospitalizations also are increasing. Long Beach resident hospitalizations are up, from 47 on Dec. 20 to 61 on Dec. 31., and area hospitalizations have risen from 51 on Dec. 20 to 140 on Dec. 31. Despite the increase in hospitalizations, the number of those hospitalized remains well below the 281 Long Beach residents hospitalized and 598 area hospitalizations during the height of the 2020-2021 winter surge. Of those who are currently hospitalized, 72% are unvaccinated, demonstrating the effectiveness of the vaccine for reducing severe illness and hospitalizations. People can visit longbeach.gov/vaxlb for information regarding vaccinations.
For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep our residents safe, visit longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity and @LBHealthDept on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. People may also visit longbeach.gov/COVID19data for up-to-date information regarding cases and vaccines in Long Beach.