Niagara County Removes Close Contact Quarantine Requirements for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

The Niagara County Department of Health announced that in alignment with the updated U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, quarantine will no longer be required for fully vaccinated people following a close contact exposure. More specifically, asymptomatic fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to quarantine within 90 days after the second shot.

A person is considered fully vaccinated at least two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine (e.g. Moderna or Pfizer) or one dose of a single-dose vaccine (e.g. Johnson & Johnson). “People who have been fully vaccinated and have been in close contact with a confirmed positive case of COVID-19, will not be required to quarantine if they are within three months of receiving the last dose of the vaccine and have no symptoms of COVID-19 since their exposure,” explained Daniel. J. Stapleton, Public Health Director. “Those who do not meet those qualifying standards, should follow the New York State quarantine guidance,” he added.

“We have conducted over 5,700 first dose vaccinations at our Point of Dispensing (POD) operations with a second dose completion rate of about 95%,” stated Elise Pignatora, Director of Public Health Planning and Emergency Preparedness.

Despite being vaccinated, individuals should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others until herd immunity is reached. “Everyone, despite being vaccinated, should continue to wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, avoid crowds, wash their hands and follow current NYS travel advisory requirements,” Mr. Stapleton emphasized.

There are some exceptions to the new quarantine guidance. According to the CDC, fully vaccinated inpatients and residents in healthcare settings should continue to quarantine following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. This exception is due to the unknown vaccine effectiveness in this population, the higher risk of severe disease and death, and challenges with social distancing in healthcare settings.

For more information about the CDC updated guidance visit: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html

For more information regarding NYS Travel Advisory quarantine requirements visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory