Understanding COVID Quarantine and Isolation

CDC's COVID quarantine and isolation calculator provides helpful guidelines

(RxWiki News) Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, quarantine and isolation after exposure or illness have been moving targets. Let's get a little clarity on the latest recommendations.

Here's how to calculate quarantine and isolation according to the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC:).

COVID Exposure Without Vaccination

According to the CDC's quarantine and isolation calculator, you should stay home and quarantine for at least five full days after you have been exposed to COVID-19 and if you are unvaccinated. After the five-day period, get tested and continue to watch for symptoms for 10 days post-exposure. Meanwhile, wear a mask around others in your home, and avoid traveling.

COVID Exposure with Vaccination

If you have been vaccinated and exposed to COVID-19, the CDC said you do not have to quarantine as long as you don't have symptoms. At least five days after the exposure, get tested for COVID and continue to watch for symptoms for at least 10 days. Health officials still recommend wearing a mask when you are around others if you have been exposed to COVID.

COVID Exposure with Recent COVID Infection

If you had a positive viral test for COVID-19 within the past 90 days, you do not have to quarantine or get tested unless you develop symptoms, according to the CDC. Continue to watch for symptoms for 10 days and get tested if you develop any. You should also wear a mask when around others until the 10-day period has passed, the CDC advised.

COVID Symptoms or Positive COVID Test

Regardless of your vaccination or past infection status, if you test positive for COVID or have symptoms, the CDC advises doing the following:

  • Isolate from others inside your home and remain at home for five days.
  • If you have to be around others in your home, wear a mask.
  • End isolation after five days if you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours (if you had symptoms). If you didn't have symptoms, you can end isolation after five days.
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 10 days after the positive test.
  • Do not travel until 10 days after your symptoms began or the date of your positive test.

If you are concerned about exposure to COVID-19, reach out to your health care provider.

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Review Date: 
June 21, 2022