According to the updated guidelines, people who are symptomatic with COVID-19 should self-isolate for 10 days at home after symptoms begin. Those who are positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic should also isolate themselves for 10 days, beginning from the date on which they tested positive.
“For most persons with COVID-19 illness, isolation and precautions 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,” the guidelines state.
The new guidelines also state that people with severe cases of the disease should isolate “for up to 20 days after symptom onset.”
The previous guidelines required that people who test positive for the virus self-isolate until they received two negative results from swab tests for the virus.
“These findings strengthen the justification for relying on a symptom-based, rather than test-based strategy for ending isolation of these patients, so that persons who are by current evidence no longer infectious are not kept unnecessarily isolated and excluded from work or other responsibilities,” the new guidelines state.
Last week, Trump administration testing coordinator Brett Giroir confirmed that the two negative tests are no longer required to end self-isolation.
“This is a remnant of very early on when we had cruise ships and people in quarantine that said the first way to get out of quarantine was to have two negative tests 24 hours apart. That is no longer needed, and it is medically unnecessary,” Giroir said on July 16.
The CDC still recommends a 14-day quarantine for people who have been in contact with a person infected with COVID-19 but don’t have a confirmed infection themselves.