Submitted by LCO Health Center
Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, the CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for 5 days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others.
Additionally, CDC is updating the recommended quarantine period for those exposed to COVID-19. For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days. Alternatively, if a 5-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. Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure. For all those exposed, best practice would also include a test for SARS-CoV-2 at day 5 after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.
If You Test Positive for COVID-19 (Isolate)
Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
• Stay home for 5 days.
• If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
• Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.
If You Were Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)
Have been boosted
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months
Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months
• Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
• Test on day 5, if possible.
If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home.
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted
Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted
• Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
• If you can’t quarantine you must wear a mask for 10 days.
• Test on day 5 if possible.
If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home