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November 4, 2014 > Risk-based Ebola quarantine guidelines issued

Risk-based Ebola quarantine guidelines issued

Submitted By Anita Gore

While there continue to be no reported or confirmed cases of Ebola in California, State Health Officer and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director Dr. Ron Chapman took action on October 29 to help prevent any potential spread of the disease in the state by issuing a quarantine order and associated guidelines that require counties to individually assess persons at risk for Ebola and tailor an appropriate level of quarantine as needed. This flexible, case-by-case approach will ensure that local health officers throughout the state prevent spread of the disease, while ensuring that individuals at risk for Ebola are treated fairly and consistently.

The order, which applies to anyone traveling to California who has 1) traveled to California from an Ebola affected area; and 2) has had contact with someone who has a confirmed case of Ebola, requires those travelers to be quarantined for 21 days. A person traveling to this region that has not come into contact with a person with Ebola will not be subject to quarantine. An Ebola affected area is one determined as an active area by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which currently includes Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Local County health officers will issue quarantine orders for individuals and establish limitations of quarantine on a case-by-case basis. These limitations will be based on new guidance also released today by CDPH. This ÒGuidance for the Evaluation and Management of Contacts to Ebola Virus DiseaseÓ outlines quarantine limitations that local health officers should take based on the level of Ebola risk to which individuals were exposed. Although quarantine can involve isolation at home, it may be tailored to allow for greater movement of individuals who are deemed to be at lower risk.

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