" What the CDC’s Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines Say – NBC Chicago – Ordimeds

What the CDC’s Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines Say – NBC Chicago

COVID-19 cases are gradually increasing across Illinois, and several Chicago-area counties are moving to a higher alert level.

According to the CDC, five counties in the state are currently at a “medium level” of COVID-19 transmission, and the federal agency has issued a series of recommendations to residents living in affected communities.

Suburban Cook County also issued an alert last week that its gauges had raised it to the “medium” level.

As the chances of contracting COVID-19 increase, some are asking the following questions: What should you do if you or someone you have been in contact with tests positive? How long to quarantine and when to get tested?

And do the guidelines change if you are vaccinated?

Below, we look at advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on what to do if you test positive or if you think you’ve been exposed to someone who has COVID-19.

When to quarantine if you are not up to date with your vaccinations

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 and are not up to date on your vaccinations, which means you have not received the full set of vaccines and boosters, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 5 full days and to wear a mask if you must be around other people in your home.

Regardless of symptoms or vaccinations, people exposed to someone with coronavirus should get tested at least five days after their exposure.

Those with symptoms should be tested, but if they test negative and symptoms persist, another test may be needed a few days later, especially for those using home kits.

People who believe they have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 and are not vaccinated should self-quarantine and avoid travel for 10 full days.

The CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health define a close contact as “someone who has been within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a period of 24 hours”.

Here’s what self-quarantine means, according to the CDC:

  • Stay home and away from other people for at least 5 days after your last contact with someone who has COVID-19.
  • Wear a mask when you are with other people at home, if possible.
  • For 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19, monitor for fever (100.4°F or higher), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If you develop symptoms, get tested immediately and self-isolate until you receive the results. If you test positive, follow the isolation recommendations.
  • If you do not develop symptoms, get tested at least 5 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19.
  • If the result is negative, you can leave the house, but continue to wear a mask when around other people at home and in public until 10 days after your last contact with someone who has COVID- 19.
  • If you test positive, you should self-isolate for at least 5 days from the date of your positive test (if you don’t have symptoms). If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, self-isolate for at least 5 days from the symptom onset date (symptom onset date is day 0). Follow the recommendations in the Insulation section below.
  • If you cannot get tested 5 days after your last contact with someone with COVID-19, you can leave home after the fifth day if you have not had symptoms during this time. Wear a mask for 10 days after your last contact date when around others at home and in public.
  • Avoid people with weakened immune systems or who are more likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19, nursing homes, and other high-risk environments, for at least 10 days.
  • If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially those at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, and other people outside your household for 10 days after your last contact with a infected person.
  • If you cannot quarantine yourself, you must wear a mask for 10 days when you are with other people at home and in public.
  • If you cannot wear a mask when around other people, you must continue to self-quarantine for 10 days. Avoid people with weakened immune systems or who are more likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19, nursing homes, and other high-risk environments, for at least 10 days.
  • Do not travel during your 5 day quarantine period. Take the test at least 5 days after your last contact and ensure that the result is negative and that you have no symptoms before travelling. If you do not get tested, delay your trip until 10 days after your last contact with someone with COVID-19. If you must travel before the end of the 10 days, wear a mask when around other people throughout the trip. If you cannot wear a mask, you must not travel for 10 days.
  • Stay away from places where you cannot wear a mask, such as restaurants and some gyms, and avoid eating with other people at home and at work for 10 days after your last contact with someone who has COVID -19.

Do you have to self-quarantine if you are up to date with your vaccinations?

Those who come into contact with someone who has COVID-19, but are up to date on their vaccinations, do not need to self-quarantine. However, the CDC recommends that you wear a mask for 10 days after your exposure and get tested after at least 5 days.

When should you self-isolate?

If you test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, regardless of your vaccination status, the CDC recommends staying home for 5 days and isolating yourself from other members of your household.

When should isolation end?

You can end isolation after 5 full days if you have been fever-free for 24 hours without using fever medication and your other symptoms have improved (loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and there is no need to delay the end of isolation).

If you continue to have a fever or your other symptoms have not improved after 5 days of self-isolation, you should wait to end your self-isolation until you have been fever-free for 24 hours without taking medication and your other symptoms have improved. Continue to wear a mask until Day 10. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.

Stay away from places where you cannot wear a mask, such as restaurants and some gyms, and avoid eating with other people at home and at work for up to 10 full days after the first day of symptoms.

After ending isolation, the CDC recommends people continue to wear a mask until day 10.

According to CDC guidelines, if you need to self-isolate:

  • Control your symptoms. If you develop more serious symptoms (including difficulty breathing), seek medical attention immediately.
  • If possible, stay in a separate room from other members of your household.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Take steps to improve ventilation in the home, if possible.
  • Avoid contact with other household members and pets.
  • Do not share personal household items, such as cups, napkins, and utensils.
  • Wear a mask when you need to be around other people.

Do you need to self-isolate if you are up to date with your vaccinations?

If you test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, regardless of your vaccination status, the CDC recommends that you stay home for 5 days and isolate yourself from other people in your home.

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