Releasing COVID-19 Cases from Isolation and Quarantine

COVID-19 Cases and Contacts

Status of Individual Cases Close Contacts
Identified as a COVID-19 case. Isolation and transmission based (TBP) precautions for 10 days.
Can be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset* (for symptomatic person) or specimen collection date of positive test (for asymptomatic person) AND if resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms.
Close contacts of the case should be in quarantine as described below.
Identified as a COVID-19 case and has severe illness or immunocompromising condition. Isolation and TBP: 20 days for discontinuation, must be fever free (without fever-reducing medication) and symptoms improving for at least 24 hours. Close contacts of the case should be in quarantine as described below.
Identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 case. If symptoms develop, see COVID-19 case isolation guidance described above. 7-day option (through Day 7) with a negative SARS-CoV-2 Test
  • Local health department (LHD) must authorize.
  • Must be asymptomatic and continue to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after last exposure.
  • Must be tested within 48 hours prior to ending quarantine (no sooner than Day 6).
  • Does not apply to K-12 school-aged persons or daycares.
  • Must be able to social distance and mask for full 14 days.
10-day option (through Day 10)
  • LHD must authorize.
  • Must be asymptomatic and continue to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after last exposure.
  • Must be able to social distance and mask for full 14 days.
14 days
  • Must be asymptomatic to end quarantine.

Possible Reinfection1

Status of Individual Cases Close Contacts
Asymptomatic but tests positive within 90 days of last COVID-19 infection.
(Note: Routine testing is not recommended for persons who are asymptomatic and within 90 days of prior infection.)
Infection unlikely due to immunity from previous infection. Positive test likely due to prolonged shedding of non-replicable viral RNA. Re-testing of asymptomatic persons within 90 days of past infection is not recommended.  
Symptomatic and tests positive within 90 days of last COVID-19 infection.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/duration-isolation.html#Annex
Consultation with infectious disease MD/public health recommended to rule out alternative etiology. Isolation determined on a case-by-case basis. If reinfection is confirmed or remains suspected, case should remain under isolation precautions as described above (10 days for most cases). Quarantine of close contacts if reinfection of case is suspected or confirmed.
Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after exposure.
Identified as a possible COVID-19 reinfection1 at >90 days since last infection. Isolation and TBP for 10 days. For release after 10 days, must be fever-free (without fever-reducing meds) and have improvement in symptoms for at least 24 hours. Quarantine of close contacts of the case.
Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after exposure.
Under certain situations, case-by-case evaluation may be needed to determine infectiousness and need for isolation and quarantine given other available data. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/faq.html#Testing,-Isolation,-and-Quarantine-for-Persons-Who-Have-Recovered-from-Previous-SARS-CoV-2-Infection
Person more than 90 days past COVID-19 infection who is exposed to an active COVID-19 case.   Quarantine if identified as a close contact to a case; if vaccinated, refer to guidance for vaccinated persons.

Vaccination Status

Status of Individual Cases Close Contacts
Fully vaccinated2 and develops COVID-19 symptoms. Medical evaluation and testing recommended.
If not tested, stay home and away from others for 10 days.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated close contacts to the case should be quarantined if the suspected case tests positive for SARS-CoV-2.
Fully vaccinated2, asymptomatic, does not live in congregate setting, and is a close contact to a COVID-19 case.   None.
Monitor self for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after exposure.
Fully vaccinated2, asymptomatic, resides in a congregate living setting (health care and non-health care), and is a close contact to a COVID-19 case.   Quarantine away from others for 14 days.
SARS-CoV-2 testing is recommended.
Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after exposure to case.
For long-term care (LTC), also see guidance at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-after-vaccination.html
Fully vaccinated2, asymptomatic, is an employee of a congregate living facility (health care or non-health care) or high-density workplace and is a close contact to a COVID-19 case.   None.
Testing following an exposure and through routine workplace screening programs (if present) is still recommended.
Monitor self for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after last exposure to the case.
For LTC, also see guidance at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-after-vaccination.html
Partially vaccinated2, symptoms are not consistent with potential post-vaccination effects, OR develops COVID-19 symptoms >48 hours after vaccination OR symptoms persist >48 hours after vaccination. Testing recommended.
Medical evaluation recommended.
Isolate until SARS-CoV-2 infection is ruled out.
Close contacts to the case should quarantine as described for COVID-19 close contacts unless suspected case is determined to not have SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Partially vaccinated2 and is a close contact to a COVID-19 case.   Quarantine as described for COVID-19 close contacts.
Monitor for COVID symptoms for 14 days after exposure.

Travelers

Traveler guidance applies to the traveler except where noted

Status of Individual Cases Close Contacts
Domestic or international traveler is unvaccinated or is partially vaccinated2 for COVID-19. Get tested 3-5 days after returning home from travel and self-quarantine for 7 days.
If not tested, self-quarantine for 10 days.
Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after return to home.
Domestic traveler is fully vaccinated2 and asymptomatic. None.
Monitor self for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after return to home.
Domestic or International traveler is fully vaccinated2 and develops COVID-19 symptoms. Testing and medical evaluation recommended.
Isolate for 10 days if no testing or medical assessment done.
Close Contacts of the Traveler: Quarantine depends on determination of case status of the traveler. If traveler has COVID-19, the close contacts should quarantine as per COVID-19 quarantine recommendations.
International traveler is fully vaccinated2 and asymptomatic. Traveler will be required to test negative prior to boarding return flight to U.S.
Testing recommended 3-5 days after return to the U.S.
Quarantine not required for traveler.
Monitor self for symptoms for 14 days after return to U.S.

1Possible reinfection is defined as an individual has detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA ≥90 days since first SARS-CoV-2 infection. More information is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/reinfection.html
2Fully vaccinated refers to a person who is ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of 1 dose of a single-dose vaccine. Partially vaccinated refers to a person who has only received 1 dose of the 2-dose vaccine series or is less than 2 weeks following receipt of the last dose of the 1- or 2-dose vaccine series.

This serves as general guidance and does not address every possible isolation or quarantine question or scenario. Please reference the links provided and contact the local health department with additional questions. The local health department will make the final determination on isolation and /or quarantine requirements.

Links

General isolation guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/duration-isolation.html
General quarantine guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/scientific-brief-options-to-reduce-quarantine.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fmore%2Fscientific-brief-options-to-reduce-quarantine.html
Reinfection: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/duration-isolation.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcommunity%2Fstrategy-discontinue-isolation.html#Annex and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/faq.html#Testing,-Isolation,-and-Quarantine-for-Persons-Who-Have-Recovered-from-Previous-SARS-CoV-2-Infection
Vaccinated: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html
Travel: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/
Long-term care:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-after-vaccination.html

Follow public health guidance for isolation and quarantine precautions.  Close contacts who develop symptoms should isolate away from others and seek medical evaluation and testing for COVID-19.

Fully vaccinated people should continue to follow guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a well-fitted maskphysical distancing (at least 6 feet), avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance.

The vaccination guidance applies to COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen). 

Last Updated: 04/26/2021