- Isolation relates to behavior after a confirmed infection.
- Quarantine refers to the time following exposure to the virus or close contact with someone known to have COVID-19.
- The majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness
- If asymptomatic, the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others.
- If unvaccinated or more than six months out from a second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days.
- If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test
- If a 5-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure.
- If an individual has received a booster shot, then the person does not need to quarantine following an exposure but should wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days after the exposure.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday December 27, 2021, has updated their recommendations for isolation and quarantine based on the individual showing symptoms as well as vaccination status.