Missoula County COVID 19 Incident Commander Cindy Farr released her Thursday video message that dealt primarily with the state and county quarantine policy.

“People who are close contacts to a COVID 19 case and those who have traveled outside of Montana are asked to quarantine because they were likely exposed to COVID 19 and could develop symptoms of the illness,” said Farr. “Once you develop symptoms then you can spread the illness. So, if you are asked to quarantine we ask you to stay home for the full 14 days of the incubation period.”

Farr explained the reasoning behind the 14 day policy.

“The 14 days comes from the maximum incubation period of COVID 19,” she said. “That means that you can develop the disease at any time during that 14 day period. Remember last week, when I spoke about the difference between the regular flu and COVID 19? Well, the really long incubation period is one of the big challenges with trying to control the spread of the disease.”

Farr addressed the issue of testing for the disease before symptoms appear.

“First, if you don’t have any symptoms, you don’t need to get tested,” she said. “As we’ve discussed several times, that’s just not the way that the test works. You have to actually be symptomatic for the test to be accurate.”

She said there are still shortages of testing supplies for Montana.

“Testing supplies are still limited,” she said. “If you don’t have symptoms and you ask for a test then you’re taking a limited resource away from someone who needs it, while we’re learning nothing about your own health in the process. So, please leave the tests for those who are actually having symptoms.”

Farr releases a new video statement every day, which can be seen here.

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