Covid-19

Ending Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19: Interim Guidance



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As of February 18, 2021

  • Some severely immunocompromised persons with COVID-19 may remain infectious beyond 20 days after their symptoms began and require additional SARS-CoV-2 testing and consultation with infectious diseases specialists and infection control experts.

Updates as of July 20, 2020

  • A test-based strategy is no longer recommended to determine when to discontinue home isolation, except in certain circumstances.
  • Symptom-based criteria were modified as follows:
    • Changed from “at least 72 hours” to “at least 24 hours” have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
    • Changed from “improvement in respiratory symptoms” to “improvement in symptoms” to address expanding list of symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  • For patients with severe illness, duration of isolation for up to 20 days after symptom onset may be warranted. Consider consultation with infection control experts.
  • For persons who never develop symptoms, isolation and other precautions can be discontinued 10 days after the date of their first positive RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 RNA.

Updates as of July 17, 2020

  • Symptom-based criteria were modified as follows:
    • Changed from “at least 72 hours” to “at least 24 hours” have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications
    • Changed from “improvement in respiratory symptoms” to “improvement in symptoms” to address expanding list of symptoms associated with COVID-19

Updates as of May 29, 2020

Added information around the management of persons who may have prolonged viral shedding after recovery.

Updates as of May 3, 2020

  • Changed the name of the ‘non-test-based strategy’ to the ‘symptom-based strategy’ for those with symptoms. Added a ‘time-based strategy’ and named the ‘test-based strategy’ for asymptomatic persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Extended the home isolation period from 7 to 10 days since symptoms first appeared for the symptom-based strategy in persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms and from 7 to 10 days after the date of their first positive test for the time-based strategy in asymptomatic persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. This update was made based on evidence suggesting a longer duration of viral shedding and will be revised as additional evidence becomes available. This time period will capture a greater proportion of contagious patients; however, it will not capture everyone.
  • Removed specifying use of nasopharyngeal swab collection for the test-based strategy and linked to the Interim Guidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), so that the most current specimen collection strategies are recommended.

Updates as of April 4, 2020

  • Revised title to include isolation in all settings other than health settings, not just home.



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