State Eases COVID Rules

Written by Estero Bay News

March 26, 2023

The State’s COVID-19 isolation guidelines have changed and anyone who may have caught the virus now doesn’t have to isolate for so long.

According to a news release from the San Luis Obispo County Health Department, “Members of the general public with COVID-19 who feel well, have improving symptoms, and have been fever-free for 24-hours may leave isolation after five days, followed by a period of strict masking. A negative test is no longer needed to exit isolation.”

The State’s new orders went into effect on March 13 and will override the County’s “order to isolate” issued last November. The change is one of many issued by the California Department of Public Health “following the end of the COVID-19 State of Emergency. With these updates, most State requirements related to masking and vaccination will be replaced with recommendations,” the County said.

County Public Health Director, Dr. Penny Borenstein said, “While COVID-19 continues to take a toll on our community, we have more tools than ever to protect ourselves and each other.

“Most adults can now get prescription medicine to treat COVID-19 at no cost. We have updated booster vaccines and widely available at-home testing. If you need help accessing any of these tools, I encourage you to contact your doctor or our Public Health team.”

According to CDPH, beginning April 3, “masks will no longer be required in indoor high-risk and health care settings. This includes health care, long-term care, and correctional facilities as well as homeless, emergency, and warming and cooling centers. CDPH’s recommendations for facemasks for individuals was unchanged. 

According to CDPH the mask guidelines include:

• Wear a mask around others if you have respiratory symptoms, e.g., cough, runny nose, and/or sore throat;

• Consider wearing a mask in indoor areas of public transportation such as in airplanes, trains, buses, ferries, and transportation hubs such as airports, stations, and seaports;

• When choosing to wear a mask, ensure your mask provides the best fit and filtration — respirators like N95, KN95 and KN94 are best; and, 

• If you’ve had a significant exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, wear a mask for 10 days.

On April 3 the State will no longer require vaccination for health care workers including in adult care, direct care, correctional facilities, and detention centers. 

Beginning March 13, a COVID-19 positive person may end isolation after five days if they feel well, have improving symptoms, and are fever-free for 24 hours, with less emphasis on testing negative.

The State Public Health Officer’s order, formerly known as “Beyond the Blueprint,” will be updated to align with the isolation and quarantine recommendations and includes an updated definition for a confirmed COVID-19 case.

On April 3, CDPH will rescind an order “that required hospitals statewide to accept transfer patients from facilities with limited ICU capacity as needed. ICU capacity has not been limited during recent COVID-19 surges after the broad use of vaccines and treatments.

Also being rescinded on April 3 is an order “that required providers to ask patients for their email addresses and/or mobile phone numbers when receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. New legislation requires that California healthcare providers who administer vaccines to enter information about patients, including telephone numbers and race and ethnicity.

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