As scientists and doctors learn more about COVID-19, certain precautions and policies will change from experts. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revised their previous guidance for isolation times for individuals that are home-isolated with COVID-19. According to the CDC:
- A test-based strategy is no longer recommended to determine when to discontinue home isolation, except in certain circumstances.
- Symptom-based criteria were modified as follows:
- Changed from “at least 72 hours” to “at least 24 hours” have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
- Changed from “improvement in respiratory symptoms” to “improvement in symptoms” to address expanding list of symptoms associated with COVID-19.
- For patients with severe illness, duration of isolation for up to 20 days after symptom onset may be warranted. *Consider consultation with infection control experts.
- For persons who never develop symptoms, isolation and other precautions can be discontinued 10 days after the date of their first positive RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
A summary of current evidence and rationale for these changes is described in the Duration of Isolation and Precautions for Adults with COVID-19.
These recommendations will prevent most, but cannot prevent all, instances of secondary spread.
These isolation recommendations are solely based on the updates and changes announced by the CDC. Your state or local authority may require additional steps.
Please note, according to the CDC, the approach outlined may differ from that recommended for healthcare personnel or patients in healthcare settings with COVID-19 due to different susceptibilities and risks associated with onward transmission in a healthcare setting.
The CDC is learning more about COVID-19 every day, and as new information becomes available, the CDC will update their information. This guidance is based on available information about COVID-19 and is subject to change as additional information becomes available. Always check the most up to date information on the CDC website before taking action.
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