CDC Relaxes Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines

Last Updated on January 3, 2022 by EANE Web Administrator

Article contributed by Mark Adams

In response to the current data demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has adjusted its isolation and quarantine guidelines.

The new guidelines shorten time periods; depending upon whether a person has been “boosted” and or whether or when they became fully vaccinated.

The new guidelines are as follows:

For those testing positive for COVID-19 – isolation guidelines:

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • If there no symptoms or symptoms are resolving after 5 days, individuals can leave their homes.
  • However, they need to continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.

If there is a fever, individuals are to continue to stay home until the fever resolves.

Close Contacts

For those in close contact with someone with COVID-19 – quarantine guidelines:

If boosted, OR have been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines within the last 6 months OR have been fully vaccinated with J & J vaccine within the last 2 months:

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5, if possible

If symptoms develop, get a test and stay home.

If an individual was fully vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines over 6 months ago OR has been fully vaccinated with J & J vaccine over 2 months ago or is unvaccinated:

  • Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • If an individual cannot quarantine, they must wear a mask for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5 if possible.

If symptoms develop, get a test and stay home.

[Editor’s note:  the CDC has emphasized that these are only guidelines and are not binding. As such, state or local public health officials or an individual’s own health care provider may issue other recommendations. Additionally, for employers seeking to support and follow these guidelines, it will be incumbent upon them to not only know the vaccination status of their employees when confronted with a situation but additionally when they got vaccinated as it can have a bearing on which protocols to follow.]