On August 11, 2022, the CDC updated its COVID-19 guidelines. Many of the recommendations remain the same and are rooted in the most effective strategies to protect ourselves against COVID: get vaccinated and stay up-to-date with boosters, test if you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19, isolate if you test positive, and wear a mask if you are in an area with a high COVID-19 Community Level. The CDC also continues to recommend that people take additional precautions if they are at higher risk for severe COVID-19.

The CDC updated recommendations for quarantine (staying away from others when you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19) and isolation (staying away from others when you test positive for COVID-19). The recommendations for quarantine and isolation no longer differ by vaccination status.

Quarantine: what happens if you’re exposed to COVID-19?

  • If you are exposed to COVID-19, you should wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 5. The CDC no longer recommends quarantining if you are exposed.

Isolation: what happens if you test positive?

  • If you test positive for COVID-19, or if you’re sick and suspect you have COVID-19 and are awaiting test results, you should isolate from others, regardless of vaccination status.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you should isolate from others for at least 5 days. If you had mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 and are fever-free after 5 days, you can end isolation and wear a high-quality mask through day 10. But if you had moderate or severe COVID-19 or you are immunocompromised, you should isolate through day 10.
  • If you ended isolation but your COVID-19 symptoms recur or worsen, you should restart your isolation period back to day 0.

In most settings, the CDC also no longer recommends testing for COVID-19 if you are asymptomatic and have no known exposure.

Added August 12, 2022