Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidance regarding COVID exposure and illness for general settings. Citing the number of tools and treatments available, as well as a better understanding of transmissibility and high population levels of vaccination/previous exposure to the virus, the CDC is relaxing its quarantine procedures in certain situations. These guidelines are current as of 8/11/2022.
Vaccines: The CDC continues to recommend that everyone is up to date with vaccination to lower risk of death, hospitalization, and severe illness.
Exposed: Wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 5 instead of quarantining.
Symptoms: Isolate from others if you are sick and suspect that you have COVID but do not yet have test results.
Positive Test: Regardless of vaccination status, stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days. Wear a high-quality mask when you must be around others at home and in public.
- If after 5 days you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication, and your symptoms are improving, or you never had symptoms, you may end isolation after day 5.
- Regardless of when you end isolation, avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID until at least day 11.
- Wear a high-quality mask through day 10.
- If COVID symptoms worsen or return, restart your isolation at day 0. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about your symptoms or when to end isolation.
Illness Severity: If you had moderate illness (shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing) or severe illness (hospitalization) due to COVID or you have a weakened immune system, isolate through day 10. If you had severe illness or have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before ending isolation. Ending isolation without a viral test may not be an option for you. If you are unsure if your symptoms are moderate or severe or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to a healthcare provider for further guidance.