COVID-19: Quarantine & Isolation Recommendation

Posted: Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Medical Director of Infectious Disease Medicine

What we know about COVID-19 is ever-evolving. And with the Omicron variant of the virus, that fact is no different. Based on what CDC has recommended for the general public, the quarantine and isolation guidelines have changed for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to COVID-19.

First, let’s talk about the difference between quarantine and isolation:

  • Quarantine – You quarantine when you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 and may be infected with the virus.
  • Isolation – You isolate when you have been infected with the virus and need to separate yourself from those who are not infected.

To find out if you need to quarantine or isolate, answer these questions:

1. Did you test positive for COVID-19?

Yes

Regardless of your vaccination status:

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • If you have no symptoms, or your symptoms are resolving after five days, you can leave your home.
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days.

If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.

No

Proceed to the next question.

2. Were you exposed to someone with COVID-19?

Yes

If you have received your booster shot or completed the primary, two-dose series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last six months or completed the primary, one-dose series of the J&J vaccine within the last two months:

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 on day five, if possible.

If you develop symptoms, get a COVID-19 test and stay home.

If you completed the primary, two-dose series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine more than six months ago and have not received your booster shot or completed the primary, one-dose series of the J&J vaccine more than two months ago and have not received your booster shot or are unvaccinated:

  • Stay home for five days. After that, continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days.
  • If you can’t quarantine, you must wear a mask for 10 days.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 on day five, if possible.

If you develop symptoms, get a COVID-19 test and stay home.