On December 27, 2021, the CDC updated guidance for isolation and quarantine periods for the general population, saying, “Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation for the public. People with COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.”

Click here for a flowchart that can be an easy reference to follow if symptomatic, diagnosed, or in close contact with with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

The following is attributable to CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky: “The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society. CDC’s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses. These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives. Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather.”

As always, please stay safe, and let your program’s Director know if you have symptoms, if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, or if you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.