‘Modified Quarantine' in Bucks Co. Lets Those Exposed to COVID-19 Leave Home

The suburban Philadelphia county's public health director says the full 14-day quarantine "doesn't make any sense at all."

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Residents in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, who have been exposed to a case of COVID-19 do not need to self-quarantine or isolate for 14 days under a rule established by the county's heath director.

Instead, they must simply wear a mask when outside of their home and stay six feet away from others when traveling or working. However, if they have any symptoms for the coronavirus, they should immediately stay home and get tested.

"Over time, this is going to be the norm. This could be going on for years," Dr. David Damsker said. "You can be exposed six, seven times in a year. To ask people to sit at home for 14 days every time exposed doesn't make sense at all."

Bucks County has reported 7,805 cases of COVID-19, the fifth highest total among Pennsylvania's 61 counties, according to state records through Aug. 31. Damsker, however, said the county has among the lowest new case counts in the state.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health said in a statement that their recommendation for those exposed to COVID-19 remains a 14-day quarantine.

"Regardless of what the county may be stating, quarantine is an essential tool to stopping the spread of COVID-19," the department statement said. "Our guidance, and that of the CDC, is to quarantine (stay at home) at home for 14 days after coming in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. "

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