The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently updated its guidelines for best practices on home isolation. The following isolation recommendations apply to individuals who have a) tested positive for COVID-19, b) have symptoms of COVID-19 or c) were exposed to COVID-19. These new guidelines are more closely related to the symptoms exhibited by the individuals, as follows:
- Persons without symptoms of COVID-19 can end their isolation after 10 days from the date of a positive COVID-19 test.
- Persons who were exposed to the virus, but were never tested and have no symptoms, should likewise quarantine for 10 days.
- Persons who have tested positive and who have mild or moderate symptoms can end isolation 10 days after onset of symptoms, provided that at least 24 hours have passed without a fever they exhibit no additional or increase in symptoms.
- Persons who have tested positive and have severe symptoms should continue isolation for 20 days after onset of symptoms and should consider consulting with a physician or infectious disease specialist.
Retesting for COVID-19 is now recommended only for individuals with compromised immune systems, or if done to shorten the above quarantine times. Persons who remain without symptoms after a positive test, or persons whose symptoms subside, should in general not retest for COVID-19 for three months following the positive test or end of symptoms.
The full analysis from CDC can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/duration-isolation.html#cecommendations