County boss and Rye guy George Latimer has shared new COVID-19 isolation guidelines from the New York State Department of Health. Strikingly, you can be arrested for not following the guidelines. If common sense won’t work, we’ve got the law.
“Ignoring the isolation order is a crime punishable under Section 12-b of the Public Health Law. Additionally, the Department of Health can seek to confine you a medical facility for failing to comply,” says the new FAQ on isolation.
The guidelines follow. Now go wash your hands and wipe-down your counters.
You can also download COVID-19 Isolation Guidelines – Westchester County.
Who does this apply to?
Any person who resides in Westchester County, who has tested positive for COVID-19
Am I under isolation?
Any resident of Westchester County who has tested positive for COVID-19 is subject to isolation in accordance with the Standing Commissioner’s Order.
What if I ignore the isolation order?
Ignoring the isolation order is a crime punishable under Section 12-b of the Public Health Law. Additionally, the Department of Health can seek to confine you a medical facility for failing to comply.
Okay, so how can I get out of isolation?
You must remain in isolation until you meet the Clearance Criteria set by the New York State Department of Health. Once you meet the Clearance Criteria, you can end your isolation.
What are the Clearance Criteria?
Here are the Criteria:
If you’ve experienced any of the following symptoms: Fever, Cough, Shortness of Breath/Difficulty Breathing, the Clearance Criteria are:
- It’s been at least 7 days since you first started experiencing symptoms; AND
- You haven’t had a fever in at least 3 days, without taking fever-reducing medication (such as Tylenol); AND
- Any shortness of breath/coughing/difficulty breathing has improved. If you meet ALL THREE criteria, you can end your isolation
If you haven’t experienced any of those symptoms, the Clearance Criteria are:
- It’s been at least 7 days since you had your first positive COVID-19 test; AND
- You haven’t had any subsequent illness
If you meet BOTH of these criteria, you can end your isolation
So if I meet the Clearance Criteria I’m totally free?
NO! Meeting the Clearance Criteria only frees you from medical isolation. You’re still subject to all other applicable State and Local laws and Executive Orders. So for example:
|THINGS YOU CAN DO||THINGS YOU CAN’T DO|
|Go to the grocery store||Go to a party|
|Go for a walk outside||Play sports with a group of people|
|Go to work if you work for an essential business provide an essential service as defined in by the Empire
State Development Corporation
|Go to work if you don’t work for an essential business or essential service.|
But if I’m cleared, I can’t get anybody else sick, right?
Wrong. While the Clearance Criteria are designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread, it’s still possible that you can infect other people.
What can I do to prevent that?
Be careful. Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly. Cover any coughs. Avoid close contact with anyone over 65, or anyone with a compromised immune system or underlying illness. Maintain proper social distancing. Stay home unless you need to go out.
Are there any other special instructions I should be aware of?
If you’re a healthcare worker or a first responder, please check with your employer for any additional instructions.
I understand all that. Do I need anything from the Health Department?
No. Once you meet the Clearance Criteria, your isolation period is finished.
I’m an essential worker, but my employer won’t let me back to work without something in writing from the Health Department. Help!
The Health Department is currently building a web application where you will be able to request release from isolation letters. Please check back.
What if I have other questions?
Call (866) 588-0195