Isolation & Quarantine Information

On Monday, December 27, the CDC shortened the recommended isolation and quarantine period for the general public. These changes are motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness.

These updates are not intended to apply to healthcare settings. CDC's recommendations for healthcare personnel are described in the Interim Guidance for Managing Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection or Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and Strategies to Mitigate Healthcare Personnel Staffing Shortages released last week. Additional updates to CDC healthcare infection prevention and control guidance will be forthcoming. 


Updated Isolation Recommendations (for those who have tested positive for COVID-19)


If the individual has no symptoms at any point:

  • They can leave isolation after 5 days (test date is day 0) but must continue to wear a mask for 5 more days.
    • If they develop symptoms at any point, they should re-isolate for at least 5 days (symptom onset is day 0) and until their symptoms are improving and they haven't had a fever for at least 24 hours.
    • They would need to wear a mask until 10 days from their symptom onset date.

If the individual has symptoms:

  • They must isolate for at least 5 days (date of symptom onset is day 0) and until symptoms are improving and they do not have a fever for at least 24 hours.
  • They must continue to wear a mask once they leave isolation until 10 days from symptom onset.

Individuals unwilling or unable to wear a mask would need to isolate for the full 10-day period.

Updated Quarantine Recommendations (for those who have been exposed to COVID-19)

People who are unvaccinated or are not up to date (more than 5 months out from their second mRNA dose or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and have not yet received a booster dose should:

  • Quarantine for 5 days following exposure and wear a well-fitting mask when around other people for an additional 5 days.
  • If a 5-day quarantine is not feasible, the exposed person must wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around other people for 10 days after exposure.

People who meet one of the following criteria do not need to quarantine after exposure to COVID-19, but should wear a well-fitting mask when around other people for 10 days:

  • Have completed their primary mRNA vaccine series within the last 5 months, OR
  • Have been fully vaccinated with a J&J vaccine within the last 2 months, OR
  • Have received a booster, OR
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days using a viral test.

Following an exposure to COVID-19, everyone, regardless of vaccination status:

  • Should get tested for COVID-19 on day 5, if possible, after exposure.
  • Quarantine immediately if any symptoms develop until they receive a negative COVID-19 test confirming symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

Updates to recommended isolation and quarantine for the general population reflect current science on when and how long a person is maximally infectious and ensure that people can safely continue their daily lives. 

English
Next Steps- While you wait for your COVID-19 test results
Next Steps- After you are diagnosed with COVID-19
Next Steps- Close contacts of someone with COVID-19
Next Steps- Notifying close contacts after you are diagnosed with COVID-19

Spanish
Next Steps- While you wait for your COVID-19 test results
Next Steps- After you are diagnosed with COVID-19
Next Steps- Close contacts of someone with COVID-19
Next Steps- Notifying close contacts after you are diagnosed with COVID-19