Wishing you a Merry & Healthy Christmas & Holiday Season
A couple of months ago, we were hopeful that this Christmas would be reminiscent of years past. Unfortunately, due to the surge of the Delta and Omicron variants, many holiday plans have been altered.
The daily reported COVID-19 positive cases this week were the highest since January 2021. To increase compliance in reporting and quarantine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New Jersey Department of Health updated their quarantine recommendations for school settings and for the general public.
The revised recommendations allow for shortened time frames for students and staff to end quarantine after day seven with a negative COVID-19 test result collected between days five and seven of quarantine or after day 10 if testing is not performed. The guidance also re-enforces that the optimal quarantine time frame for those who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 is 14 days.
On Monday, the NJDOH Commissioner stated that options for shortening quarantine only apply if no COVID-19 symptoms develop during the quarantine period. If symptoms develop, the individual should immediately self-isolate, contact a healthcare provider and/or the local health department, and be tested for COVID-19. Quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after day seven. An unvaccinated person can end quarantine after day 10 if they haven’t been tested for COVID-19. If an unvaccinated person receives a negative COVID-19 test result collected between days five and seven, that individual can end quarantine after day seven.
Vaccinated and unvaccinated people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 should get tested after an exposure. Testing is currently available at more than 100 sites statewide. To find a testing location in NJ, visit: covid19.nj.gov/pages/testing. If you are interested in getting a rapid test after your holiday gatherings, the BinaxNOW COVID-19 rapid test can be picked up at your local drugstore or can be ordered online at cvs.com.
As a reminder, the NJDOH and Vault have partnered to offer free at-home PCR COVID-19 saliva tests. These kits will be shipped through UPS with next day delivery. When complete, the test can be sent back in a prepaid package via UPS next day shipping. Results will be available 24 - 48 hours after the sample arrives at the lab. Over 6,000 at-home test kits have already been ordered. You can request a free test kit by visiting: https://learn.vaulthealth.com/nj/.
Wishing you and your families a very merry and healthy Christmas holiday!
Please continue to stay safe during this holiday season.
Mayor, Mendham Township