Ending isolation and precautions for people with COVID-19: Interim guidance

As of February 18, 2021

  • Some severely immunocompromised people with COVID-19 may remain infectious 20 days after the start of their symptoms and require additional SARS-CoV-2 testing and consultation with infectious disease specialists and infection control experts.

Updates as of July 20, 2020

  • A test-based strategy for determining when to stop home isolation is no longer recommended, except in certain circumstances.
  • Symptom-based criteria have been modified as follows:
    • Changed from “at least 72 hours” to “at least 24 hours” has passed since last Fever without the use of fever-reducing drugs.
    • Changed from “Respiratory symptom improvement” to “Symptom improvement” to address the expanded list of symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  • For patients who are severely ill, a duration of isolation of up to 20 days after symptom onset may be warranted. Consider consulting infection control experts.
  • For people who are never asymptomatic, isolation and other precautions can be stopped 10 days after the date of the first positive RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 RNA.

Updates as of July 17, 2020

  • Symptom-based criteria have been modified as follows:
    • Changed from “at least 72 hours” to “at least 24 hours” has passed since last Fever without the use of fever-reducing drugs
    • Changed from ‘Improvement in respiratory symptoms’ to ‘Improvement in symptoms’ to address the expanded list of symptoms associated with COVID-19

Updates as of May 29, 2020

Added information about the management of people who may have viral shedding for extended periods after recovery.

Updates as of May 3, 2020

  • The name “non-test-based strategy” was changed to “symptom-based strategy” for those with symptoms. A “time-based strategy” called “test-based strategy” has been added for asymptomatic people with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Extending the period of home isolation from 7 to 10 days Since symptoms first appear For symptom-based strategy in asymptomatic persons with COVID-19 who develop symptoms and 7 to 10 days after the date of their first positive test for time-based strategy in asymptomatic persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 virus. This update was made based on evidence of a longer virus shedding period and will be revised as additional evidence becomes available. This time period will capture a greater proportion of infected patients; However, it will not capture everyone.
  • The use of nasopharyngeal swabs collection for a test-based strategy has been de-identified and linked to the Interim Guidelines for Collection, Processing, and Testing of Clinical Specimens for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), so that the use of the latest specimen collection strategies is recommended.

Updates as of April 4, 2020

  • Address revised to include insulation in all places other than health settings, not just the home.

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