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Says there needs to be a change to COVID quarantines

Vox Pop

Recently I had the opportunity to experience COVID quarantine firsthand. I was exposed to COVID via close contact, I tested negative, although I was told - after the fact - that I had “wasted my time” by testing too early. I, however, remained asymptomatic throughout my 14 day quarantine (which I chose to do rather than test again).

Initially my director and our head of Human Resources approved me to go into work after hours as long as I remained asymptomatic. After learning about that plan, the Health Department denied me that opportunity. Consequently, I missed 8 days of work. More importantly, already overburdened staff had to pick up some of my duties, while most of my work sat, which impacted coworkers and consumers.

Had I been allowed to work after hours a good deal of this could’ve been avoided. My job does not lend itself to remote work, so that wasn’t an option for me. My frustration increased when I wasn’t given the opportunity to ask questions or express my concerns in speaking with the Health Department or when I attended the Executive Committee meeting - which the Health Department told me to do if I had questions or concerns.

I think it’s important to remember that the CDC guidelines are just that - GUIDELINES, NOT LAW. I strongly believe these quarantine guidelines need revision; they are arbitrary and inconsistent. These guidelines are creating serious problems in businesses, schools, churches, and all over. People cannot possibly continue to quarantine for 8-14 days every time they may have been exposed. I understand the CDC states the duration of quarantine can be reduced if a person is vaccinated. This, in my opinion, is one of those convoluted areas. For example, if an unvaccinated person can’t have a valid COVID test until at least day 6 after exposure, why can someone who is vaccinated test right away, and if negative, go right back to work/school? It is my understanding that the vaccine doesn’t protect from getting COVID or from transmitting COVID; it only lessens symptoms if you do get COVID. So, if people who are vaccinated can still contract COVID and still transmit COVID, why are their quarantine guidelines different than for unvaccinated people? Or, if people can exhibit new symptoms up to 14 days after contact (as I was told by the Health Department) why isn’t everyone quarantined for 14 days, vaccinated or not? To be clear, I am not advocating for more quarantine time; I’m merely pointing out some of the inconsistencies in the guidelines.

Bottom line: quarantine guidelines need to be modifi ed, for the sake of the economy, businesses, schools, people’s general mental health, etc. If you are vaccinated, you should be protected from serious illness; if you are not vaccinated you probably feel you will be okay without the vaccine. Either way, it’s a personal choice, which is still a right in this country. Cool heads and common sense need to prevail. There are ways to keep people safe while still keeping things moving forward.

— Gwen Thomas, Medford