NEW TESTING SITE LAUNCHES IN BELLE HAVEN: Community members can get a COVID-19 test in Menlo Park's Belle Haven neighborhood at a new location that opened on Wednesday, Aug. 17, by Belle Haven Action and Work Site Labs. Read more below.
PEOPLE EXPOSED TO COVID NO LONGER HAVE TO QUARANTINE, CDC SAYS: People who have been exposed to COVID-19 will no longer be required to quarantine under updated public health guidance issued Aug. 11 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more below.
YOUR COVID-19 VACCINE QUESTIONS — ANSWERED: We've compiled a list of who can currently get vaccinated in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, plus answers to common questions and links to resources. Read the full Q&A.
COVID-19 TESTS AVAILABLE BY APPOINTMENT: Santa Clara County is operating appointment-only COVID-19 test sites on a rotating basis. View the full list.
Community members can get a COVID-19 test in Menlo Park's Belle Haven neighborhood at a new location that opened on Wednesday, Aug. 17, by Belle Haven Action and Work Site Labs.
The tests are available from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula at 401 Pierce Road, where people can drop in every third Wednesday month through the end of the year. The site will also offer blood pressure monitoring and blood sugar screening at the same appointment.
Next month, the location will provide information on diabetes, nutrition, exercise and mental health, according to a press release. More information can be found at bellehavenaction.org.
People who have been exposed to COVID-19 will no longer be required to quarantine under updated public health guidance issued Thursday, Aug. 11, by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Those exposed to the virus are now encouraged to wear a mask for 10 days and get tested on the fifth day after exposure, according to the CDC. However, they will not be required to quarantine for any period of time.
People with COVID-19 are still encouraged to isolate themselves from others for at least five days regardless of their vaccination status and for at least 10 days after testing positive if symptomatic.
According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 who have not had a fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medication like Paxlovid and whose symptoms are improving or remain asymptomatic will be allowed to end their isolation period after five days.
CDC officials argued that while transmission of the virus is ongoing and, in some places, at very high levels, the updated guidance reflects that "there is significantly less risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death compared to earlier in the pandemic," due to the widespread availability of vaccines, therapeutic treatments, high-quality masks and both at-home and PCR testing.
In addition, according to CDC officials, much of the U.S. population now has some level of protection through vaccination, prior infection or both.
"This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives," said Greta Massetti, the chief of the CDC's Field Epidemiology and Prevention Branch.
The agency also said distancing from others by at least 6 feet is no longer recommended and lifted the recommendation that K-12 students exposed to the virus test negative regularly to avoid missing class time.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten praised the updated school guidance, suggesting that students, educators and parents all need "as normal a (school) year as possible," after the previous two school years.
"We will continue to press for what children and educators need to recover and thrive, including enhanced ventilation; lower class size; emotional and social supports such as guidance counselors, paraprofessionals and nurses; and, of course, recruiting and retaining great teachers," Weingarten said in a statement.
"This updated guidance from CDC provides timely information at the beginning of the school year and affirms that practicing the known risk mitigation strategies will keep students, staff and the greater community safe," Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools Mary Ann Dewan said in a statement in response to the updated guidance. "While a few recommendations were removed, schools still have the flexibility to implement any safety measures necessary to continue full-time in-person instruction."
The county continues to follow tools and frameworks for schools in response to COVID-19 from the California Department of Public Health, which had yet to issue a statement on the updated guidance as of Thursday evening.
The updates announced Thursday are intended to apply to broader county- and community-level settings, according to the CDC.
The agency said it plans to issue specific guidance for settings like health care and travel that reflect Thursday's updates in the near future.
For coverage by subject — how the virus is affecting public health, residents, schools, cities, businesses, nonprofits, arts groups, etc. — please go to our Wakelet page.
View an archive of previous updates here.