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CDC changes guidelines on self-isolation for COVID-19 patients

Published: Jul. 20, 2020 at 8:13 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2020 at 3:45 AM EDT
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - New guidelines are out from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for people who are self-isolating with COVID-19.

For people with COVID-19 cases that include symptoms:

Symptom-based strategy

People with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved

Test-based strategy

People who have COVID-19 with symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:

  • Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and
  • Negative test results from at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.

For people without symptoms but who test positive:

Time-based strategy

People with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:

  • At least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test. If they develop symptoms, then the symptom-based or test-based strategy should be used. Note, because symptoms cannot be used to gauge where these individuals are in the course of their illness, it is possible that the duration of viral shedding could be longer or shorter than 10 days after their first positive test.

Test-based strategy

Persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:

  • Negative results from at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.

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