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    COVID

    Find guidance for health departments on people in U.S. communities exposed to a person with known or suspected COVID-19 or community-related exposure.

    Back to COVID-19 Home

    Quarantine & Isolation

    Updated Mar. 30, 2022

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    Quarantine and Isolation Calculator

    A tool to help determine how long you need to isolate, quarantine, or take other steps to prevent spreading COVID-19.

    Get Started

    This information is intended for a general audience. Healthcare professionals should see Ending Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19.

    People with COVID-19 and close contacts should follow the recommendations outlined on this page. These recommendations do not change based on COVID-19 community levels.

    On this Page

    When to Stay Home Quarantine Isolation

    Recommendations for Specific Settings

    Ongoing COVID-19 Exposure FAQs

    Quarantine

     If you were exposed

    Quarantine and stay away from others when you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

    Isolate

    If you are sick or test positive

    Isolate when you are sick or when you have COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms.

    When to Stay Home

    Calculating Quarantine

    The date of your exposure is considered day 0. Day 1 is the first full day after your last contact with a person who has had COVID-19. Stay home and away from other people for at least 5 days. Learn why CDC updated guidance for the general public.

    IF YOUWere exposed to COVID-19 and are NOT up to date on COVID-19 vaccinationsQuarantine for at least 5 daysStay home

    Stay home and quarantine for at least 5 full days.

    Wear a well-fitting mask if you must be around others in your home.

    Do not travel.Get tested

    Even if you don’t develop symptoms, get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.

    After quarantine

    Watch for symptoms

    Watch for symptoms until 10 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.

    Avoid travel

    It is best to avoid travel until a full 10 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.

    If you develop symptoms

    Isolate immediately and get tested. Continue to stay home until you know the results. Wear a well-fitting mask around others.

    Take precautions until day 10Wear a well-fitting mask

    Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a well-fitting mask.

    If you must travel during days 6-10, take precautions.Avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.IF YOUWere exposed to COVID-19 and are up to date on COVID-19 vaccinationsNo quarantineYou do not need to stay home unless you develop symptoms.Get tested

    Even if you don’t develop symptoms, get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.

    Watch for symptoms

    Watch for symptoms until 10 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.

    If you develop symptoms

    Isolate immediately and get tested. Continue to stay home until you know the results. Wear a well-fitting mask around others.

    Take precautions until day 10Wear a well-fitting mask

    Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a well-fitting mask.

    Take precautions if travelingAvoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.IF YOUwere exposed to COVID-19 and had confirmed COVID-19 within the past 90 days (you tested positive using a viral test)No quarantine

    You do not need to stay home unless you develop symptoms.

    Watch for symptoms

    Watch for symptoms until 10 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.

    If you develop symptoms

    Isolate immediately and get tested. Continue to stay home until you know the results. Wear a well-fitting mask around others.

    Take precautions until day 10Wear a well-fitting mask

    Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a well-fitting mask.

    Take precautions if travelingAvoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

    Calculating Isolation

    Day 0 is your first day of symptoms or a positive viral test. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed or your test specimen was collected. If you have COVID-19 or have symptoms, isolate for at least 5 days.

    IF YOUTested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, regardless of vaccination statusStay home for at least 5 days

    Stay home for 5 days and isolate from others in your home.

    Wear a well-fitting mask if you must be around others in your home.

    Source : www.cdc.gov

    Still Testing Positive for COVID

    Experts share their advice about isolation, masking and more if you're still testing positive late into a COVID-19 infection.

    HEALTH & WELLNESS

    Still testing positive for COVID-19 after 10 days? Here's what to know

    How to interpret your at-home test results.

    Jan. 18, 2022, 9:28 PM UTC / Updated April 8, 2022, 4:08 PM UTC

    By Sarah Jacoby

    We may be entering our third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, but rapid testing at home can still be confusing. And, for people who continue to test positive for coronavirus late into their infection, it may be particularly difficult to know what to do with those results.

    While most people who have COVID-19 can expect to see a positive result for about six to 10 days, some do test positive for even longer than that. Here’s what you need to know about when to take a COVID-19 rapid test, how to interpret your results and what to do if you’re still testing positive at 10 days and beyond.

    When should you take an at-home COVID-19 test?

    In the event that you develop any symptoms that might signal COVID-19, you should take a home test immediately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say.

    Those symptoms — congestion, sore throat, cough, fever — might be easily confused with other common illnesses, such as the flu, allergies or the common cold. But because we are still in the midst of a pandemic, it's a good idea to take a test to help rule out COVID-19 first, even if there's a chance you're just dealing with seasonal allergies.

    If you've been exposed to a close contact who has COVID-19, you should take a test at least five days after your last contact with that person. And if you test negative, consider taking another test a day or two later to help confirm your results, the CDC suggests.

    You can also take a test before attending an indoor gathering, especially if you know you won't be wearing a mask at that gathering. This is also helpful if you'll be spending time with people who are particularly vulnerable to severe COVID-19 symptoms, including those with certain underlying health conditions.

    Keep in mind that the government is providing at-home COVID-19 tests to Americans for free. Every household in the U.S. can now order up to eight home rapid tests that get shipped directly to people’s homes. The cost of other rapid tests should be covered by health insurance, and tests may be available at community health centers for people who don’t have insurance.

    Related: How to properly store your at-home COVID-19 tests

    What should you do if you test positive for COVID-19?

    If you test positive for COVID-19, you can end your isolation after just five days if you never developed symptoms, according to the latest guidelines from the CDC.

    Or, if you did develop symptoms, you can leave isolation after you've been without a fever for 24 hours (without using fever-reducing medication), provided your other symptoms are resolving as well. That can be as early as after five full days of isolation, the CDC says.

    The CDC also amended its guidelines to add that, if you have access to a rapid antigen test, you can take the test at the end of day five of your isolation (as long as you've been fever-free for at least 24 hours). If it's negative, you can use that result to feel more confident about leaving isolation at that time. But if it's positive, the CDC says you should continue isolating through day 10.

    Regardless of when you end isolation, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should take precautions for 10 full days, the CDC says. That includes wearing a mask when around others, avoiding travel and avoiding being around people who have a high risk for severe COVID-19.

    And if it's challenging to figure out what all those guidelines mean for your specific situation, take a look at the CDC's new quarantine and isolation calculator tool.

    Do I have allergies or COVID? How to tell the difference

    Do I have allergies or COVID? How to tell the difference How long do people normally test positive for COVID-19?

    In the most general terms, people will likely test positive on an at-home rapid COVID-19 test for about six to 10 days, Dr. Stephen Kissler, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the department of immunology and infectious diseases, told TODAY.

    And when it comes to PCR tests, people may test positive for even longer, Dr. Alberto Paniz-Mondolfi, associate professor of pathology, molecular and cell-based medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, explained. "You can still have positivity that may persist for weeks and even months," he explained, noting that positive tests on PCR have been recorded for up to 60 days.

    But there are a lot of factors that can affect the number of days someone may test positive.

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    Considering that different tests may perform differently “and you have a context of a virus that is in constant evolution, and then you have all these variants, you’re changing the variables of the equation over and over again,” said Paniz-Mondolfi, who also leads the Saliva COVID Test Lab at Mount Sinai. That makes it difficult to predict exactly how long someone may test positive.

    Even with a rapid test, it's not unheard of for people to test positive up to 14 days, especially for those who are unvaccinated, Kissler said. "We see a ton of variation between people in how long they test positive," he explained. "While that average is closer to six to 10 days, there are people who will hang on for longer than that."

    Source : www.today.com

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