On July 20, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance on how long individuals that test positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate at home. Recent studies show that individuals with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 are no longer infectious 10 days after symptoms begin. The CDC’s updated guidance recommends:
(1) Individuals who are symptomatic and directed to care for themselves at home after testing positive for COVID-19 may discontinue isolation if all the following conditions are satisfied:
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms began
- The individual has been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications (removes the 72-hour requirement)
- Other symptoms have improved
A test-based strategy, which requires at least 2 negative COVID-19 tests, is no longer recommended. In addition, if an individual was previously diagnosed with symptomatic COVID-19 and has not experienced symptoms after recovery, retesting is not recommended within 3 months after symptom onset.
(2) Individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic may discontinue isolation and other precautions 10 days after their first positive COVID-19 test.
Antibody or serologic testing should not be used to determine the presence or absence of a COVID-19 infection.