Updated Public Health Emergency Isolation Order for COVID-19
DATE OF ORDER: July 22, 2020
Please read this Order carefully. Violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. (California Health and Safety Code § 120275, et seq.)
UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTIONS 101040, 101085, AND 120175, THE HEALTH OFFICER OF THE COUNTY OF SONOMA (“HEALTH OFFICER”) ORDERS:
- This Order supersedes the May 18, 2020 Order of the County of Sonoma Health Officer C19-12-I and shall become effective beginning at 12:01 a.m. on July 23, 2020, until rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Health Officer. Persons subject to Isolation Order C19-12-I must continue to comply with the terms of that order.
- California is in a State of Emergency because of the coronavirus pandemic. The spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a substantial danger to the health of the public within the County of Sonoma (“County”). COVID-19 can easily spread between people who are in close contact with one another. This Order is based on scientific evidence and best practices as currently known from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of California, and the Sonoma County Health Officer to protect vulnerable members of the public from avoidable risk of serious illness or death resulting from exposure to COVID-19.
- The age, condition, and health of a significant portion of the population of the County places it at risk for serious health complications, including death, from COVID-19. There is growing evidence of transmission risk from infected persons before the onset of symptoms. Thus, all individuals who contract COVID-19, regardless of their level of symptoms (none, mild, or severe), may place other vulnerable members of the public at significant risk. Currently, there is no vaccine available to protect against COVID-19 and no specific treatment.
- To help slow COVID-19’s spread, protect vulnerable individuals, and prevent the healthcare system in the County from being overwhelmed, it is necessary for the Health Officer to isolate persons with COVID-19 and persons likely to have COVID-19 as determined by their treating provider.
- All persons who have COVID-19 as described in Paragraph 6 and all persons who are likely to have COVID-19 as described in Paragraph 7 must isolate themselves and follow all instructions in this Order. Isolation is required because a person with COVID-19 can easily spread the virus to others. Isolation separates these persons from others to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- For purposes of this Order a person is considered to have COVID-19 if the person was diagnosed with COVID-19 on the basis of a positive lab test for the presence of the coronavirus (known as SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19.
- For purposes of this Order, a person is likely to have COVID-19 if the person is displaying or reporting symptoms of COVID-19 and a health care provider, in consultation with the Sonoma County Department of Health Services, Disease Control Unit, determines based on those symptoms and any other risk factors that the person is likely to have COVID-19.
- All persons who have COVID-19 or are likely to have COVID-19 must immediately take the following actions:
- Isolate themselves in their home, another residence, or a location offered by the County. They may not leave their place of isolation or enter any other public or private place except to receive necessary medical care or during an emergency that requires evacuation to protect the health and safety of the person.
- Review and follow all requirements listed in the Home Isolation Instructions for People Diagnosed with or Likely to Have COVID-19 attached to this Order and posted at https://socoemergency.org/
- Tell their close contacts that they need to quarantine themselves. Close contacts who should be notified to quarantine are people who were near them during the infectious period, as further described below. The infectious period commences 48 hours before symptoms began (or in absence of symptoms, 48 hours before the date the test sample of a positive test was collected) and ends when the isolation period is over as set forth in Paragraph 9. Close contacts of an individual who has or is likely to have COVID-19 are persons who, during the individual’s infections period, were within six feet of the individual for fifteen minutes or longer. These may include persons who:
- live in, have visited, or have stayed overnight at the individual’s residence; or
- are intimate sexual partners of the individual; or
- worked within six feet of the individual; or
- provide care to the individual without wearing a mask, a face shield or goggles, gown and gloves; or
- have been identified as close contacts by the Sonoma County Department of Health Services.
- Refer their close contacts to the Home Quarantine Instructions attached to this Order and posted at https://socoemergency.org/, which described steps that close contacts must take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Close contacts have likely been exposed to COVID-19 and if infected, can easily spread COVID-19 to others, even if they have only mild or no symptoms.
- The period of isolation of a person will be one of the following:
- Persons with a positive test who never develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days from date of their positive test (which is the date the test sample was collected).
- Persons who are isolating because they are likely to have COVID-19 based on symptoms, but have not tested or are awaiting test results, may end their period of isolation if they test negative for COVID-19. If the person never tests for COVID-19, the person’s period of isolation is the same as the person with symptoms and a positive test in subsection 9(c).
- Persons with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and a positive test must isolate until:
- At least 24 hours have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of both fever (100.0F or higher) without the use of fever reducing medication; and
- Improvement in symptoms; and
- At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms started.
For more information, check the CDC Guidance for When You Can be Around Others After You Had or Likely Had COVID-19 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/end-home-isolation.html
- The Sonoma County Health Officer may take additional action(s), which may include civil detention or requiring an individual to stay at a health facility or other location, to protect the public’s health if an individual who is subject to this Order violates or fails to comply with this Order. Violation of this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment, fine or both.
- Pursuant to Government Code sections 26602 and 41061 and Health and Safety Code section 101029, the Health Officer requests that the Sheriff and all chiefs of police in the County ensure compliance and enforce this Order. The violation of any provision of this Order constitutes an imminent threat to public health.
- Copies of the Order shall promptly be made available (1) at the County Administration Center at 575 Administration Drive (2) by posting on the County’s website and (3) provided to any member of the public requesting a copy.
IT IS SO ORDERED:
Frequently Asked Questions
The CDC issued guidelines for discontinuing the isolation period based on the profile of the person in isolation as follows:
- People with COVID-19 symptoms but who did not get a test may discontinue their isolation when:
- At least 24 hours have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
- People without COVID-19 symptoms but who tested positive for the virus may discontinue their isolation when:
- At least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test. If they develop symptoms, then the symptom-based or test-based strategy should be used. Note, because symptoms cannot be used to gauge where these individuals are in the course of their illness, it is possible that the duration of viral shedding could be longer or shorter than 10 days after their first positive test.
See CDC website for additional details.
May my employer require that I get a test to show that I no longer have COVID-19 before returning to work?
The short answer is yes. While not all employers will ask you to provide documentation of a negative test result, “employers may take steps to determine if employees entering the workplace have COVID-19 because an individual with the virus will pose a direct threat to the health of others” (Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).