Social distancing is still the "norm," but the reality is that we're sometimes around people we don't know, or we don't know with whom they've been, or where they've been. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) continues to research, follow trends, and revise guidelines as necessary for if you've come into contact with someone who has the virus, or if you're feeling symptoms.
Here's a look at the latest advice regarding the length and necessity of social isolation for those who are, or suspect they are, sick with COVID-19.
Any individual that has been around a person who is positive for COVID-19 should stay home and isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.
For those who think, or know, they had COVID-19 and experienced symptoms the CDC advises remaining isolated until:
- At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared, and
- At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication, and
- Symptoms have improved
For individuals who tested positive for COVID-19, but had no symptoms, the CDC advises remaining isolated until:
- 10 days have passed since the test
Should any symptoms occur during the 10 days, individuals should remain isolated until symptoms have improved and they have gone 24 hours without a fever.
For immunocompromised individuals or those who have a weakened immune system due to a health condition or medication, the time needed to isolate may be longer than 10 days.
The CDC advises immunocompromised individuals to remain isolated until they receive two negative test results in a row, at least 24 hours apart. It is also advised that individuals speak with their healthcare provider for more information regarding testing and prevention.
If testing is not available in your area, the CDC recommends working with healthcare providers should work with an infectious disease expert at your local health department to determine if you are likely to spread COVID-19 to others and need to stay home longer.
And as always, wash your hands. Cover your mouth when you cough. Stay six feet from others. Wear a mask in public. And please be courteous to others.