New CDC guidance for isolation and quarantine
On December 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated recommendations for people who test positive for COVID-19 and for people who have been exposed.
In a post, Public Health Madison and Dane County offered a quick resource for navigating this new guidance. Campus will be updating information on the Covid Response page, but in the meantime, please consult the following:
IF YOU TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19:
Isolate at home for at least 5 days and wear a mask when around others for an additional 5 days.
- Stay home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home as much as possible.
- Stay home and avoid others until you have been at least 24 hours without a fever (without fever-reducing medicine), your symptoms are resolving, and it has been 5 days since the first day you had symptoms. Continue to wear a well-fitted mask around others for 5 additional days.
- If you have not had any symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and avoid others until 5 days have passed since the day of your COVID-19 test. Continue to wear a well-fitted mask around others for 5 additional days.
- Monitor your symptoms and call before visiting your doctor. If you have an appointment, be sure you tell them you have or may have COVID-19.
- Avoid using public transportation, taxis, or ride-share.
- Tell your employer, school, or child care center about your diagnosis.
- If the positive test was an at-home test, you can report your or your child’s result and a case investigator will follow-up with you to discuss isolation and contact notification. You should also try to receive a follow-up PCR test collected at a clinic or community test site within 48 hours to confirm the test result.
- If you are having a medical emergency, call 911. Notify dispatch that you have or may have COVID-19.
- You don’t need to get tested again if you’ve recently had a positive test, your test is likely to be positive for many weeks after you recover. You don’t need a negative test to stop isolating.
Notify your close contacts.
- People in your household, and others you had close contact with need to get tested, stay home, and self-monitor for symptoms. See our exposure guidance for details.
- Review our Release from Isolation and Quarantine Guidance PDFfor a detailed guide to know when you and your contacts can stop isolating.
Take steps to limit the spread of COVID in your household.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Wear a mask if you have to be around other people in your household.
- Avoid sharing personal household items like dishes and glasses, or bedding.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If you can’t wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day, such as counters, tables, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, phones, and keyboards.
IF YOU WERE EXPOSED TO SOMEONE WITH COVID-19
First, know that you generally need to be in close contact with someone with COVID-19 to get infected.
Close contact includes:
- Living with or caring for a person with confirmed COVID-19, OR
- Being within six feet of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for about 15 minutes (with or without a mask), OR
- Someone with COVID-19 coughing on you, kissing you, sharing utensils with you or you had direct contact with their body secretions.
- Have been boosted OR
- Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months OR
- Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months
- Wear a mask around others for 10 days since your last contact.
- Test on day 5, if possible.
However, if you:
- Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted OR
- Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted OR
- Are unvaccinated
- Stay home and quarantine for 5 days since your last contact. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
- If you can’t quarantine, you must wear a mask around others for 10 days. We strongly recommend quarantine as the safest option to prevent the spread of COVID.
- Test on day 5, if possible.
You can find more information on PHMDC’s website, including what to do if someone in your household is sick: https://publichealthmdc.com/coronavirus/what-to-do-if-you-are-sick-or-possibly-exposed
Read more about making sense of the new guidance in this blog post from UWMadScience: https://uwmadscience.news.wisc.edu/health/what-should-we-make-of-the-new-cdc-guidance-for-isolation-and-quarantine/