CDC Updates Recommendations for Isolation following COVID-19

CDC has updated its recommendations for isolation following COVID-19. The new guidance focuses on the patient’s symptoms rather than test results. Below are summaries of recent changes, along with links to updated CDC guidance.

Discontinuation of Transmission-Based Precautions and Disposition of Patients with COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings

 Except for rare situations, a test-based strategy is no longer recommended to determine when to discontinue Transmission-Based Precautions.

  • For patients with severe to critical illness or who are severely immunocompromised1, the recommended duration for Transmission-Based Precautions was extended to 20 days after symptom onset (or, for asymptomatic severely immunocompromised1 patients, 20 days after their initial positive SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test).
  • Other symptom-based criteria were modified as follows:
    • Changed from “at least 72 hours” to “at least 24 hours” have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
    • Changed from “improvement in respiratory symptoms” to “improvement in symptoms” to address expanding list of symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  • A summary of current evidence and rationale for these changes is described in a decision memo.

Criteria for Return to Work for Healthcare Personnel with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19

  • Except for rare situations, a test-based strategy is no longer recommended to determine when to allow HCP to return to work.
  • For HCP with severe to critical illness or who are severely immunocompromised1, the recommended duration for work exclusion was extended to 20 days after symptom onset (or, for asymptomatic severely immunocompromised1 HCP, 20 days after their initial positive SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test).
  • Other symptom-based criteria were modified as follows:
    • Changed from “at least 72 hours” to “at least 24 hours” have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications
    • Changed from “improvement in respiratory symptoms” to “improvement in symptoms” to address expanding list of symptoms associated with COVID-19
  • A summary of current evidence and rationale for these changes is described in a Decision Memo.