Quarantine Measures of Holiday Travelers Considered by SF Health Officers

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As the holiday season comes to a close, SF health officers are considering implementing quarantine protocols for travelers going in and out of the country. On Wednesday, a county spokesperson announced that tourists should undergo a two-week quarantine upon arrival to contain the spread of the virus.

Due to this, Thanksgiving airfares predict to become 40 percent cheaper compared to last year’s rates. However, potential quarantine regulations will commence along with this change.

Due to the possibility of family gatherings happening outside North California during the holidays, new COVID-19 protocols are currently under inspection in the Bay Area to ensure health safety among visitors and residents alike. According to reports, health representatives discuss different methods and tactics to stall the increase of COVID-19 cases. Marin County Public Information Officer Laine Hendricks told reporters that health officials are also planning to “strong” quarantine procedures for people who hope to travel. 

On Tuesday, The Los Angeles Times was the first to report rumors of the quarantine deliberations. However, Hendricks stated that health representatives have yet to decide how to execute the plan and what it would demand, also adding to the possibility of the individual counties to part ways.

“The concept has come in conversation, but at this point, there are zero consensuses among the public health officers,” expressed Hendricks. “What they are currently discussing is a broader range of things that they could be rolling out this time of the year,” she added.

Hendricks speculated various ways that public health officials are considering at hand. Few of these measures include protocols for family reunions, procedures on handling someone who comes in, and the possibility of self-quarantine.

During State Health Secretary Mark Ghaly’s Wednesday briefing, the idea of a possible 14-day quarantine was brought forth and deliberated. This suggestion aims to prevent states from regressing on their improved reopening stature. According to Ghaly, a regional approach might aid communities to keep their infection and hospitalization rates under surveillance. Furthermore, he encourages  Californians to be careful as cases may spike rapidly during the holiday season.

“I am looking forward to seeing how the Bay Area counties come together to see if there’s something applicable that should be considered in other regions or statewide,” Dr. Ghaly addressed.

New York announced this week the enactment of a 14-day quarantine for most out-of-state and international visitors. However, exemptions to this rule apply to those who got tested at least 72 hours before arrival. A three-day quarantine is an acceptable alternative for these people.

New York’s quarantine plan indicates several regulations to follow, such as staying in separate sleeping quarters with private bathrooms, have symptoms tracked, and have food delivered. Penalties for anyone violating these rules range from a fine of $10,000 and up to 15 days of confinement. 

According to Stanford Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Dean Winslow, the spread of COVID-19 can stem from a single person.

“You only need one infected person who could potentially infect everyone else,” expressed Winslow. “Particularly if you’re going to be in a room like you usually would be indoors having a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner,” he added.

Winslow also said that the quarantine plan could help maintain proper care of coronavirus patients at manageable levels all across the region, preventing the increase of potential COVID-19 patients.

Some wonder how about the effectiveness a suggestion has compared to mandated guidelines. According to Psychologists, the most likely issue lights with people’s compliance with the regulations.

Health officers in San Francisco have already provided guidance, encouraging its locals to quarantine themselves after traveling or coming in contact with people outside their homes.