CDC Updates Quarantine Guidelines

CDC Updates Quarantine Guidelines

On December 23, the CDC established new guidelines for quarantine and isolation for those infected with COVID-19. The updated guidelines were initially established for health care workers, but on December 27 the CDC updated the guidelines again and said they applied to the general population. The CDC stated that the change was motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of COVID transmission occurs early in the illness, generally in the one to two days prior to onset of symptoms and the two to three days after symptoms begin.

Quarantine/Isolation Guidelines

The updated CDC guidelines are as follows:

  • People with COVID-19 should isolate for five days
  • Once asymptomatic or with symptoms resolving (without fever for 24 hours), wear a mask for five days when around others to minimize transmission of COVID


Guidelines by Vaccination Status
  • For those exposed to COVID but not yet showing symptoms: Unvaccinated individuals or those who received their second dose (or first dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine) six months ago or longer: The CDC recommends quarantine for five days, followed by strict mask use for an additional five days.
  • If a five-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals who received their booster shot less than six months ago: There is no need to quarantine following an exposure, but these individuals should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.
  • For all individuals: Regardless of vaccination status, the CDC highly recommends getting tested for SARS-CoV-2 at day five after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

Note that news reports from the weekend suggest that the CDC may be considering additional guidelines regarding testing before an individual can exit quarantine. We will keep our members updated on any changes, if any, from the CDC.

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