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Friday, August 7, 2020

Coronavirus Update 8-7-2020: Errata — CDC changes guidance on when someone can break COVID-19 isolation


Neil deGrasse Tyson once said, "I love being wrong because that means in that instant, I learned something new that day." Earlier this week, I learned something new.

In discussing who pays for employment-related COVID-19 tests, I noted that CDC guidelines recommend that a positive employee not return to work for either of: 1) it's been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared; three days with improved respiratory symptoms; and three days fever free (without fever reducing medication); or 2) the receipt of two negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

As several of my readers pointed out, however, those guidelines recently changed.

For individuals who think or know they have COVID-19, and have COVID-19 symptoms, the CDC has changed its recommended timeline to break isolation. Instead of three days fever free, the CDC now recommends that an individual only be fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. Additionally, the CDC no longer recommends testing to determine when an individual can reintegrate with others (and, for example, return to work). If, however, a health care provider recommends testing, the individual should follow that recommendation.

Other new guidance from the CDC recommends that individuals who test positive but are and remain asymptomatic need only wait 10 days from the positive test to break isolation. Also, individuals who are severely ill with COVID-19 or have a severely weakened immune system should follow the advice of their health care provider and might need to wait much longer than 10 days to break isolation or might need negative COVID-19 tests.

The more you know…

Have a healthy, safe, masked, and physically distant weekend.