The CDC has changed the name of the ‘non-test-based strategy’ to the ‘symptom-based strategy’. For this strategy, the period for isolation for confirmed cases was extended from 7 days after symptom onset to 10 days after symptom onset. Patients in both healthcare and community settings with confirmed COVID-19 infection can have infection control and isolation precautions discontinued using the following symptom-based strategy:
- At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); AND
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
This symptom-based strategy should also be used to decide when infected healthcare providers (HCP) can return to work. When returning to work, HCPs should also wear a facemask (not a cloth face covering) for source control at all times while in the healthcare facility until all symptoms are completely resolved or at baseline.
The CDC’s test-based strategy for discontinuing isolation is unchanged. This strategy still requires a combination of resolution of fever and improvement of symptoms for 72 hours and at least two negative consecutive results from PCR testing of respiratory specimens for SARS-CoV-2 collected at least 24 hours apart. However, because PCR-positivity does not consistently correlate with viral culture and may continue for extended periods after symptom resolution, this strategy frequently leads to unnecessarily prolonged isolation periods and is not routinely recommended by OCHCA.
Updated healthcare guidance can be found at:
Updated community guidance can be found at:
The updated recommendations for healthcare providers with COVID-19 infection can be found at: