New CDC COVID-19 Isolation Guidelines

The CDC updated its guidance on the recommended Covid-19 isolation period Tuesday, telling people that if they have access to Covid-19 tests and want to take them, the best approach is to use rapid tests toward the end of their five-day isolation periods.

Critically, the updated recommendations do not advise tests for isolated people, but they offer guidance on how those people should respond to test results if they choose to take them.

  • If their tests are positive, isolated people are advised to continue their isolation until 10 days after their symptoms started.
  • If their tests are negative, isolated people can end their isolation but are advised to wear masks around other people until day 10.

The CDC said the changes aim to “focus on the period when a person is most infectious. … These updated recommendations also facilitate individual social and well-being needs, return to work, and maintenance of critical infrastructure.”