January 14, 2022

CDC Updates Isolation and Quarantine Period for COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated guidance regarding isolation and quarantine for COVID-19. The CDC based this update on currently available information on COVID-19 and the omicron variant, shortening guidelines overall as current data indicates transmission of the virus occurs early in the course of illness, generally one-to-two days prior to onset of symptoms and the two-to-three days after.

Those exposed to COVID-19 should follow updated quarantine guideliness. Different quarantine timelines are applied to individuals based on their vaccination status.

  • Vaccinated + Booster – Those who are fully vaccinated and have received a booster are not required to quarantine, but should wear a mask for 10 days after exposure
  • Initial Vaccination Completed Recently – Individuals who completed the Moderna or Pfizer vaccination series less than six months ago – or the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine less than two months ago – are not required to quarantine, but should wear a mask for 10 days after exposure
  • Initial Vaccination Completed, But Not Recently – Those who were vaccinated beyond the timeline stated above should quarantine for five days, followed by five days of mask use
  • Partially Vaccinated or Unvaccinated – These individuals should quarantine for five days, followed by five days of mask use

According to the new guidelines, those who are positively infected with COVID-19 must isolate for five days. If individuals are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving – which requires they go without a fever for 24 hours – then they should also wear a mask for five days after their symptoms begin to resolve.

For all those exposed to COVID-19, best practices encourage a COVID-19 test at day five after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should quarantine immediately until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributed to COVID-19.

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