People who have been exposed to the new coronavirus and who are at risk for coming down with COVID-19 might practice self-quarantine. Health experts recommend that self-quarantine lasts 14 days. Two weeks provides enough time for them to know whether or not they will become ill and be contagious to other people. You might be asked to practice self-quarantine if you have recently returned from traveling to a part of the country or the world where COVID-19 is spreading rapidly, or if you have knowingly been exposed to an infected person.
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.
DHS encourages local and tribal health departments to review and implement this guidance in their jurisdictions. Please distribute this message widely within your organization.
CDC has shortened the recommended length of isolation for people with COVID-19, if asymptomatic, from 10 days to 5 days followed by 5 days of wearing a well-fitting mask around others.
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 have not yet received a booster dose should:
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:
Following an exposure to COVID-19, everyone, regardless of vaccination status:
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. DHS is currently working to update all communication and guidance materials to reflect these updates. Read CDC’s full media statement.