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CDC Updates Guidance for Ending Home Isolation

Coronavirus Labor & Employment

Recently (on July 20, 2020), the CDC updated its guidance on returning from home isolation, shortening the required time that an individual who has tested positive for or is suspected of having COVID-19 must be fever free from 72 hours to 24 hours.

The CDC now recommends that symptomatic individuals may end home isolation if they meet all of the following requirements:

  • At least 10 days have passed after the individual’s symptoms first appeared,
  • The individual has been fever-free for at least 24 (previously 72) hours without using fever-reducing medications, and
  • The individual’s other symptoms have improved.

For asymptomatic individuals who test positive for COVID-19, the CDC now advises that such individuals may discontinue their isolation and other precautions 10 days after their first positive COVID-19 test. If an asymptomatic individual becomes symptomatic, he or she is advised to follow the guidelines above for individuals with symptoms.

The CDC guidance previously included an alternate test-based strategy for ending home isolation, which required that an individual be fever free, have an improvement in other symptoms, and receive at least two confirmed negative COVID-19 tests from samples taken at least 24 hours apart. The CDC no longer recommends this approach except for “individuals who are severely immunocompromised,” or “to discontinue isolation or other precautions earlier than would occur under the symptom-based strategy outlined above.”

Individuals who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 are still advised to self-quarantine for 14 days after their last contact with the infected individual.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) previously based its guidance upon the prior CDC guidance. As of the writing of this alert, IDPH has not updated its guidance to adopt the new CDC recommendations. The City of Chicago Department of Public Health has adopted the updated CDC recommendations.

We will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC and IDPH and provide updates. If you have any questions, reach out to your Franczek attorney.

The IDPH has since updated its guidance. Please see our updated alert here.