Residents of Kingston and Napanee who have tested positive for COVID-19 no longer have to self-isolate for two full weeks.
Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health (KFLAPH) officials announced the change for the region Tuesday.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore says that those isolating after testing positive only need to remain self-isolation for at least 10 days, down from the initial 14, unless otherwise directed.
Officials at the health unit tell CTV News the change comes as research shows those who contract the virus are only at risk of spreading over that period.
However, those who are close contacts of positive cases and are quarantining while monitoring for symptoms still need to do so for 14 days.
Public health officials also clarified Tuesday, that household members of close contacts do not have to self-isolate, including those who are parents with children under the age of 16.
“Upon further consideration and based on the local epidemiological evidence household members (close contacts) are not required to self-isolate while waiting for a family or roommates’ test results. This includes parents or guardians of a person under 16 years of age,” said Dr. Moore in a statement on KFLAPH's website. “We sincerely apologize for any concerns this previous recommendation has caused families. We will continue to monitor the local status of COVID-19 and communicate as required to keep our community updated and to prevent the spread of this virus.”
This means that if a student is told to self-isolate at home because a class member has tested positive, the parents can still go to work and siblings can still go to class while waiting for the test results or the end of self-isolation.
KFLAPH officials announced four new cases of COVID-19 in the city on Tuesday, bringing the active case count to 24. There have been 156 total cases in the region since the pandemic began.