CDC Gives Guidance On COVID-19 Isolation, Precautions

CDC: “For most children and adults with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, infection, isolation, and precautions can be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and after resolution of fever for at least 24 hours and improvement of other symptoms.”

Children and adults with symptomatic COVID-19 can get out of isolation and forgo precautions after 10 days, according to updated interim guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The guidance also expands isolation and precautions recommendations to include children, however.

The CDC notes that even though patients who’ve recovered from COVID-19 can have upper respiratory specimens infected with SARS-CoV-2 for up to 3 months after being ill, the chances of them infecting someone else is unlikely.

“For most children and adults with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, infection, isolation, and precautions can be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and after resolution of fever for at least 24 hours and improvement of other symptoms,” the CDC guidance states.

Isolation and precautions can also be discontinued 10 days after the first positive test for people who are asymptomatic.

“For people who are severely ill (i.e., those requiring hospitalization, intensive care, or ventilation support) or severely immunocompromised, extending the duration of isolation and precautions up to 20 days after symptom onset and after resolution of fever and improvement of other symptoms may be warranted,” the CDC guidance states.

The guidance changes come as the United States deals with skyrocketing COVID-19 cases fueled by the delta variant. The surge has forced hospitals to ration care, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Of the 6146 hospitals reporting, 78.77% of beds are occupied. Deaths are also rising, with 1926 dying from COVID-19 on average everyday this past week, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Last Friday, an advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration—the Vaccines and Related Biologic Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC)—declined to recommend that everyone over 16 who’d gotten vaccinated 6 months ago or longer be given COVID-19 booster shots. The panel did recommend that under the FDA’s emergency use authorization, booster shots be given to people 65 or older, those at high risk for severe infection, and health care workers.