LEWIS COUNTY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Lewis County has announced changes to quarantine and isolation protocols.

On January 4, Lewis County Public Health issued new guidance on isolation and quarantine for those who test positive for COVID-19 and are exposed to the virus, based on new recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to LCPH, all who test positive for the coronavirus will be required to isolate for now a minimum of five days, regardless of vaccination status. Those who remain asymptomatic, or whose symptoms resolve after five days can be released from isolation after completing the fifth day but must continue to wear a mask when around others for an additional five days after being released.

However, those who are an increased risk of severe illness, or those who have trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in their chest, altered mental status or confusion, will be required to complete a ten-day isolation.

Quarantine protocols were also altered. LCHS confirmed that unvaccinated and non-boosted individuals in the same household as a positive case of COVID-19 will be the only contacts placed under quarantine by Public Health.

The positive case will now be advised to inform all other close contacts of their exposure and encourage them to self-monitor for symptoms for five days. Testing is recommended if symptoms develop.

Lewis County Public Health also stated that each COVID-positive and their close contacts will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, resulting in some changes to quarantine or isolation guidance.

All new guidance is following the latest CDC’s recommendations for shortened isolation and quarantine period based on science demonstrating that the most COVID-19 transmission occurs early in the course of the illness.

Lewis County health officials are continuing to encourage all residents to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These precautions include wearing a mask in public, washing hands, staying home when sick, getting tested for COVID-19 and getting vaccinated.

As of January 5, there were 203 active cases of COVID-19 in Lewis County, 11 hospitalized with the virus and 221 under quarantine.