CDC Updates Guidance On When To End COVID-19 Isolation

Volume: 19 | Issue: 42
July 28, 2020

On July 20, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance on when to discontinue isolation of persons with COVID-19 who have not been hospitalized. If a person has not been hospitalized, the CDC no longer recommends using a test-based strategy to determine when to discontinue home isolation, except in certain circumstances. Instead, the CDC now believes a symptom-based strategy is needed.

The CDC explains as follows: “[R]esearchers have reported that people with mild to moderate COVID-19 remain infectious no longer than 10 days after their symptoms began, and those with more severe illness or those who are severely immunocompromised remain infectious no longer than 20 days after their symptoms began.” While a test for discontinuing isolation should be considered for “persons who are severely immunocompromised,” “[f]or all others, a test-based strategy is no longer recommended except to discontinue isolation or other precautions earlier than would occur under the symptom-based strategy outlined above.”

Under this new guidance, persons infected with COVID-19 who never develop symptoms may discontinue isolation 10 days after the date of their first positive test. Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptom onset and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Other symptoms have improved.

The CDC notes: “A limited number of persons with severe illness may produce replication-competent virus beyond 10 days, that may warrant extending duration of isolation for up to 20 days after symptom onset. Consider consultation with infection control experts.”

The CDC still recommends that a person exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine for 14 days. The CDC’s guidance for ending isolation for hospitalized COVID-19 patients can be found here:

As always, KZA attorneys are available to assist you in applying these new guidelines.

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