A guide to when and how long to stay home if you are exposed to Omicron.
If you find out you’ve been exposed to someone who’s tested positive for Covid-19, a rush of questions might come to mind: Do I have to quarantine? What if I can’t find a good mask or a test? Even if I test negative, can I be certain that I’m not contagious?
Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others.
The federal government released new recommendations last month for unvaccinated students exposed to the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said those students could remain in school, as long as they are tested for the virus twice in the week after exposure and both tests come back negative.
If you've been exposed, are sick, or are caring for someone with COVID-19...
In general, asymptomatic HCP who have had a higher-risk exposure do not require work restriction if they have received all COVID-19 vaccine doses, including booster dose, as recommended by CDC and do not develop symptoms or test positive for SARS-CoV-2. The duration of protection offered by booster doses of vaccine and their effect on emerging variants are not clear; additional updates will be provided as more information becomes available.
An updated guide to testing, quarantining, isolating and returning to work or school, depending on whether you’ve gotten vaccinated fully, partly or not at all, and your own history with COVID.
If you can't quarantine because, say, your family's income depends on your going to work or you have roommates in a small apartment, "it's really important that you wear a mask at all times around others for 10 days after your exposure and get a test at day 5," says Walensky. "And if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 during your quarantine period or your 10 days after exposure, you should get a test and isolate until your test results return. Then isolate if you get a positive result."
But there are criticisms of this new guidance.
Self-isolation and quarantine help protect the community by preventing exposure to people who have or may have COVID-19.
To top it all off, the guidelines themselves are still complicated. We’ll start by laying them out. Then, we’ll explain their limitations, and how you might think about them in your own life.