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San Mateo County Health Officer Order for the Control of COVID-19 No. C19-7b (REVISED) Directing Individuals in the County who are Close Contacts of Individuals Diagnosed With COVID-19 to Quarantine Themselves
Date of Order: May 14, 2020

Health Officer Updates Health Orders

Please read this Order carefully. Violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. California Health and Saf. Code, § 120295, et seq.; Cal. Penal Code §§ 69, 148(a)(1).

SUMMARY OF THE ORDER

California is in a State of Emergency because of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) pandemic. The spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is a substantial danger to the health of the public within the County of San Mateo (“County”). COVID-19 can easily spread between people who are in close contact with one another. This Order is issued based on scientific evidence and best practices as currently known and available to protect vulnerable members of the public from avoidable risk of serious illness or death resulting from exposure to COVID-19. The age, condition, and health of a significant portion of the population of the County place it at risk for serious health complications, including death, from COVID-19. There is growing evidence of transmission risk from infected persons before the onset of symptoms. Thus, all individuals who contract COVID-19, regardless of their level of symptoms (none, mild or severe), may place other vulnerable members of the public at significant risk. Currently, there are few specific treatments for COVID-19 and no vaccine available to protect against COVID-19 transmission.

To help slow COVID-19’s spread, protect vulnerable individuals, and prevent the healthcare system in the County from being overwhelmed, it is necessary for the Health Officer of the County of San Mateo to require the quarantine of persons exposed to a person diagnosed with COVID-19. “Quarantine” separates and restricts the movement of persons who, while not yet infected with COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID-19 and therefore may become infectious. This Order addresses quarantine requirements. “Isolation” refers to the separation of persons who have been infected with COVID-19 from persons. San Mateo County Health Officer Order No. c19-6b concerns isolation requirements. This Order was updated on May 14, 2020, to incorporate changes to the self-quarantine protocol based on new guidance from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF SECTIONS 101040; 101085; 120130; AND 120175 OF THE CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE, THE HEALTH OFFICER OF THE COUNTY OF SAN MATEO (“HEALTH OFFICER”) ORDERS:

  1. All individuals who are Close Contacts, as described in Section 2 of this Order, must quarantine themselves and follow all instructions in this Order and the San Mateo Public Health (“Public Health”) guidance documents referenced in this Order. Self-quarantine is required because a person with COVID-19 can easily spread the virus to others. Quarantine separates potentially infected individuals from others to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  2. Persons must self-quarantine under this Order if they are notified, become or are made aware that they have been in close physical proximity with a person who is a Person with COVID-19, as defined in Health Officer Order c19-6b (Revised), during their infectious period, which begins 48 hours before symptoms began (or, in the absence of symptoms, on the collection date of a positive test) and ends when the Person with COVID-19 is released from Isolation pursuant to Health Officer Order c19- 6b, (including as it may be further revised). For purposes of this Order, a “Close Contact” of a Person with COVID-19 includes any person who, during the Person with COVID-19’s infectious period:
    1. Lived in or stayed at the same residence as the Person with COVID-19 when the Person with COVID-19 was not following Home Isolation Instructions; OR
    2. Was an intimate sexual partner of the Person with COVID-19; OR
    3. Stayed within 6 feet of the Person with COVID-19 for 10 minutes or more while the Person with COVID-19 was not wearing a face mask; OR
    4. Had direct contact for any amount of time with the body fluids and/or secretions of the Person with COVID-19 (e.g., was coughed or sneezed on, shared utensils with, or was provided care by or provided care for them without wearing a mask, gown, and gloves).
  3. For purposes of this Order, a Person with COVID-19 who does not have access to a home or residence for the purpose of quarantine shall not be deemed in violation of this Order if, upon notification of the requirement to quarantine pursuant to this Order, such person promptly contacts the San Mateo County Emergency Operations Center Shelter & Care Branch by dialing 211at any time, day or night, to inform of their Close Contact status and request a quarantine location, cooperates fully with EOC staff, and is otherwise compliant with this Order.
  4. This Order is issued in accordance with, and incorporates by reference, the March 4, 2020 Proclamation of a State of Emergency issued by Governor Gavin Newsom, the March 3, 2020 Proclamation by the Director of Emergency Services Declaring the Existence of a Local Emergency in the County, the March 3, 2020 Declaration of Local Health Emergency Regarding Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) issued by the Health Officer, the March 10, 2020 Resolution of the Board of Supervisors of the County of San Mateo Ratifying and Extending the Declaration of a Local Health Emergency, the April 7, 2020, Board of Supervisors’ Resolution Further Extending the Proclamation of Local Health Emergency Until the County Takes Action to Terminate the Local Emergency, the April 15, 2020 Order of the Health Officer No. c19-1b extending and revising the Order restricting visitors to skilled nursing facilities to all residential type facilities, the April 13, 2020 Order of the Health Officer No. c19-3c extending and revising the School Operations Modification Order, the March 24, 2020 Order of the Health officer No. c19-4 directing all laboratories conducting COVID-19 diagnostic tests to report COVID-19 test information, the April 29, 2020 Shelter in Place Order No. c19-5c, the April 17, 2020 Order of the Health Officer No. c19-8 requiring members of the public and workers to wear face coverings, and the and the May 11, 2020 Order of the Health Officer No. c19-9 permitting highly regulated vehicle-based gatherings.
  5. Instructions. All individuals who meet the definition of a close contact of an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 must immediately take the following actions:
    1. Quarantine themselves in their home or another residence, such as a hotel or motel, for 14 days. A Person with COVID-19 who does not have access to a home or other residence should refer to Section 3, above. They may not leave their place of quarantine or enter any other public or private place, except to access necessary medical care or during an emergency that requires evacuation to protect the health and safety of the individual, including but not limited to being tested for COVID-19, and must observe Social Distancing Requirements as set forth in the current Health Officer order directing all individuals to shelter in place, including maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others, wearing a face covering, and frequently washing hands.
    2. Obtain a diagnostic test for COVID-19. Information on how to obtain diagnostic testing is available through a person’s primary health care provider, or by calling 211 for information concerning community-based testing. A Close Contact who tests positive for COVID-19 immediately becomes a Person with COVID-19 and is subject to the requirements of Health Officer Order c19-6b, (including as it may be further revised) rather than this Order.
    3. Carefully review and closely follow all requirements listed in the “Home Quarantine Instructions” posted at www.smchealth.org/post/health-officer-statements-and-orders and attached to this Order as Appendix A, and comply with all directive of the Health Officer, including but not limited to reporting health data and identifying contacts who may have been exposed to COVID-19.
    4. If a quarantined person becomes sick with fever, cough, or shortness of breath (even if their symptoms are very mild), they shall isolate themselves at home and away from other people and follow the “Home Isolation Instructions,” posted at www.smchealth.org/post/health-officer-statements-and-orders, and attached as Appendix B at all times while seeking and obtaining diagnostic testing under subpart b., above. This is because the person is likely to have COVID-19 and if so, can spread it to vulnerable individuals. If a medical professional examines a quarantined person and determines that their symptoms are not due to COVIDꞏ19, the person may discontinue home isolation but shall continue to follow the home quarantine order and instructions.
    5. If a quarantined person is diagnosed with COVID-19, they are to follow the County of San Mateo Health Officer Isolation Order No. c19-6b (Revised), issued on May 14, 2020, including “Home Isolation Instructions” posted at www.smchealth.org/post/healthofficer-statements-and-orders, and attached to this Order as Appendix B.
  6. Exception. Notwithstanding the foregoing, health care workers and first responder agency workers who are household members, intimate partners, or caregivers of a person with COVID-19 are not subject to this Order under the following circumstances:
    1. The worker informs their employer that the worker is a Close Contact of a Person with COVID-19; AND
    2. The worker is asymptomatic, and the worker’s employer determines, based on staffing needs, that the worker needs to report to work; AND
    3. The worker returns to work.
  7. The Health Officer may take additional actions(s), which may include civil detention or requiring one to stay at a health facility or other location, to protect the public’s health if an individual who is subject to this Order fails to comply with this Order.
  8. This Order shall become effective at 12:01 am on May 16, 2020 and will continue to be in effect until it is rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Health Officer.
  9. Copies of this Order shall promptly be: (1) made available at 400 County Center, Redwood City, CA 94063; (2) posted on the County Health Services website (www.smchealth.org/post/health-officer-statements-and-orders); and (3) provided to any member of the public requesting a copy.
  10. If any provision of this Order or its application to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid, then the remainder of the Order, including the application of such part or provision to other person or circumstances, shall not be affected and shall continue in full force and effect.  To this end, the provisions of this Order are severable.

IT IS SO ORDERED

Scott Morrow MD, MPH
Health Office of the County of San Mateo

Dated: May 14, 2020

Appendix A: “Home Quarantine Instructions”

Appendix B: “Home Isolation Instructions”

PDFs of Health Orders

05/14/20- Health Officer Order c19-7b Revised Home Quarantine
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