NEW CDC Guidance on Duration of Isolation

July 21, 2020


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidance on the duration of isolation for those testing positive for COVID-19. The updated guidance recommends: 

• Isolation can generally be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms (removes 72 hour criteria).
• A test-based strategy (i.e. requiring negative tests) is no longer recommended to discontinue isolation except in very specific circumstances in consultation with infectious diseases experts.
• For persons previously diagnosed with symptomatic COVID-19 who remain asymptomatic after recovery, retesting is not recommended within 3 months after the date of symptom onset for the initial COVID-19 infection and quarantine is not recommended in the event of close contact with an infected person.

The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is updating its guidance documents to reflect these changes. NCDHHS also is sharing the information widely including with employers to discourage them from requiring negative test results to allow employees to return to work. CDC has indicated that changes are still being made for consistency across other guidance documents.

NCDHHS also hopes that this new recommendation will help alleviate some of the demand for testing and contribute to improved turnaround time for results.

Learn more here.