MISSOULA — The Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) has put in place a shortened quarantine of seven days for close contacts who meet the criteria set by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to do so.
MCCHD notes a close contact is defined as an individual who has collectively spent 15 or more minutes within six feet of a person infected with COVID-19 during a period of time in which that infected person was contagious.
Close contacts who remain symptom-free since their exposure and receive a negative PCR test result on/after day five after they were exposed to the virus will now be released from quarantine after seven days. An MCCHD team will need to receive and verify documentation of that negative PCR test prior to the close contact’s release from quarantine, according to a news release.
“If those criteria are met after the seven days the close contact will be released immediately,” MMCHD states. Individuals cannot be released from quarantine until they are officially released by Health Department staff.
MCCHD also notes that “not every close contact will be eligible for a seven-day quarantine. Those who remain symptom-free since their exposure, but decline to be tested for COVID-19 will be released from quarantine after 10 days.”
Additionally, close contacts who report any history of symptoms since their exposure to COVID-19 will not be eligible for release earlier than 14 days. This includes close contacts who report mild symptoms or those who attribute their symptoms to chronic conditions.
Close contacts, staff, and residents associated with high-risk facilities including long-term care facilities and detention centers, will also be required to complete quarantine for 14 days.
Individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and are 14 days out from their final COVID-19 vaccination dose, will not be required to quarantine if they are exposed to COVID-19, so long as they do not develop symptoms.
All COVID-19 testing provided by MCCHD is free and county residents experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are encouraged to get tested. Health Department testing is available at 4025 Flynn Lane in Missoula as well as via mobile testing in other towns.
Appointments to get tested can be made by calling (406) 258-INFO option 2. The mobile testing unit accepts walk-ups, but the clinic on Flynn Lane does not.
The mobile testing unit is in Clinton from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and in Seeley Lake from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and in Lolo between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and in Frenchtown from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays.
The Montana state COVID-19 tracking map shows 73,201 COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered and that 26,898 Missoula County residents are fully immunized