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El Paso Health Authority rejects CDC idea to shorten Covid quarantines amid case spike

EL PASO, Texas — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control's decision to shorten the recommended Covid-19 isolation and quarantine period from 10 days to five is drawing pushback from El Paso's City-County Health Authority, who said Tuesday evening that the Borderland should continue to follow the CDC’s previous 10-day isolation and quarantine guidelines.

Dr. Hector Ocaranza raised questions about the new guidance, which he noted the agency hasn't elaborated on. He said he believes the quarantine guidelines shouldn't be changed now in the middle of a spike in cases locally.

Below is the entire statement issued by Ocaranza in response to media requests for comment on the CDC recommendations...

"The CDC has not expanded on its new recommendations for the Isolation and Quarantine guidelines, and we need to look carefully at how we can implement and adapt these new recommendations to our community considering all factors, positive and negative; particularly our community’s vulnerability and other variables that could have immediate local effects.

The CDC’s recommendations are a guideline, but most importantly, we must look at what is happening at the local level and, again, how it might impact our immediate community. The number of new cases, our hospitalization numbers, and the increasing number of COVID-19 deaths continues to climb, and I expect this to get worse over the next several weeks as we begin to see the impact of the holiday travel and gatherings.

For this reason, I am recommending the community continue following the CDC’s previous 10-day isolation and quarantine guidelines.

I must also stress the recommendation to wear a face cover. It is especially imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others."

- Dr. Hector Ocaranza, El Paso City/County Health Authority
Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Jim Parker

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