(NEXSTAR) – Each day in quarantine can add time, especially if you’re anxiously awaiting your COVID test results – or even worse, waiting for your symptoms to subside. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its guidance on how long people need to quarantine or self-isolate, shortening the period and adding new mask requirements.
When can you end quarantine or isolation and rejoin the world? It depends on a few factors. Let’s break it.
Isolation and quarantine
Are you in quarantine or are you in quarantine? The difference here is mainly semantics. You isolate yourself from others if you test positive for COVID-19 or if you are showing symptoms. You isolate yourself from others if you have been exposed to the virus but do not know if you have it.
Either way, you’re stuck at home.
When can you leave the quarantine
If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 and you have not received all the vaccines for which you are eligible (including a booster shot if the time is right), then you need to isolate for the next five days. The CDC says the date you came into contact with someone with COVID counts as “day 0.”
If you’re still not feeling any symptoms after five full days, the CDC says you should get tested for the virus. If you test negative, you can return to the world. Just continue to wear a mask whenever you are around other people and monitor yourself for fever or any other COVID-19 symptoms until you have been exposed for 10 days.
Since COVID tests are hard to come by right now, they are recommended for people who want to get out of quarantine, but are not required.
If you can’t find a COVID test, the CDC says you can still re-enter the world after five days of quarantine, as long as you don’t feel sick and continue to wear a mask for another five days.
At the end of quarantine, you will still need to wear a mask at all times around other people until you have been in contact for 10 days.
If you start to feel symptoms or test positive, it’s time to restart the clocks and isolate yourself.
When can you stop isolating?
If you test positive for the virus or have symptoms, you need to stay home and away from others for five full days, according to the CDC, regardless of your immunization status.
If you test positive but have never been sick, you can end your quarantine after five days.
If you are sick, you can end your quarantine when:
- You don’t have a fever for 24 hours (don’t use fever-reducing medications like ibuprofen or Tylenol)
- AND your other symptoms are getting better (the exception is loss of smell or taste, as those can last for weeks or months and don’t necessarily mean you’re contagious)
If you’re still feeling sick after five days, wait until you meet the above criteria to leave the quarantine, the CDC says.
Currently, CDC does not require a negative test to end isolation. However, people who have access to a rapid test can still have a test done close to the end of their five-day quarantine. (CDC recommends a more rapid antigen test than a PCR test in this case, because a highly sensitive PCR test can still give a positive test result for weeks or even months, in some cases). case.)
In any case, after you’ve been quarantined, you should still wear a mask whenever you’re around other people, including family members, until you’ve started your 10-day quarantine.
https://kfor.com/news/coronavirus/heres-when-you-can-end-covid-quarantine/ When can you end the COVID quarantine