O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier -

O'Brien County Board of Health Announces New Guidance


September 24, 2020

O’Brien County Board of Health Announces

New Guidance:

• If you wear a mask in public settings, businesses, communities, and in schools, and the person that tested positive also had a mask on, then you will not be considered exposed and asked to quarantine. All parties involved must have a mask on at the time of exposure. If both parties have a mask on then only the person that tests positive will be asked to quarantine for 10 days and 24 hours free of symptoms (fever, cough, etc.) If you do not have a mask on when exposed, or the positive person does not have a mask on, then you will still be considered exposed and will still be asked to quarantine for the 14 days.

• Face shields are not included, it must be a cloth mask.

• This guidance does not include residential or healthcare settings. Household close contacts will still need to quarantine. All other guidance is the same and is unchanged.

• O’Brien County Public Health will follow these new guidelines put forth by Iowa Department of Public Health. The current data supports this as the schools who have been wearing masks there has been less spread in the schools and the schools not wearing masks have had significant spread.

• This will apply to students currently under quarantine if both parties were wearing masks. Please wait until you receive this contact from the school.

All other guidance remains the same as listed below:

• When wearing a cloth face covering, make sure that it covers your nose and mouth.

• When masks are not being worn the regular exposure rules will apply for contact tracing

• Social distancing 6ft still remains in effect.

• COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact. Distance yourself at least 6 feet away from others when possible.

• Other prevention measures that are recommended include staying home when ill, covering coughs/sneezes with your elbow or a tissue, washing hands frequently, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces often.

• People at higher risk for serious complications (over the age of 65 and/or those with chronic conditions) should consider their level of risk before participating in activities and wear a mask.

Dr. Ryan Becker, Chairperson,

Dr. Jen Stubbe, Fay Schall, Mark Schultz, Marlys Hartong

Kimberly Morran, Public Health Nurse Administrator


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