The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is adopting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation to reduce the number of days for isolation and quarantine for the general public.
The CDC updated its recommendation on December 27, 2021 to decrease isolation for people who test positive from 10 days to 5 days if they do not have symptoms (may include fever, chills, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, body aches, loss of taste and/or smell) but must continue to mask for 5 days after isolation ends. These recommendations apply to all individuals, including those who are unvaccinated or are not boosted even though they are eligible1. The CDC also recommended reducing quarantine from 10 days to 5 days for those who are close contacts to a COVID-19 case and have no symptoms, but individuals should continue to mask for 5 days after quarantine ends. Individuals who have received two doses of either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson, as well as their booster do not need to quarantine after close contact with a case, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure. Additionally, individuals who have not yet reached the 6-month mark to receive a booster for Modern or Pfizer-BioNTech, or two months for Johnson & Johnson, do not need to quarantine after close contact with a case, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure. Schools should continue to follow the IDPH COVID-19 School Guidance for children who have received the primary vaccination series and are not eligible for booster doses after 6 months. IDPH has already adopted CDC’s updated guidance for health care personnel issued last week. Health care personnel and other specific groups and setting should continue to follow their respective guidance.
For people who have had close contact to a case, public health officials recommend testing at day 5 after exposure. If a person develops symptoms, they should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not caused by COVID-19. Schools should continue to follow the IDPH COVID-19 School Guidance. Health care personnel and other specific groups and setting should continue to follow their respective guidance.
Both updates come as the Omicron variant continues to spread throughout the U.S. and reflects the current science on when and for how long a person is most infectious.
Individuals can visit www.vaccines.gov to find a nearby location to receive a vaccine or booster dose. Testing locations can be found at https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/testing.html, including information on the days and hours for free Community-based Testing Sites.
IDPH will be updating specific guidance documents in the coming days.
1Eligible means 18 years and older and it’s been 6 months since the second dose of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, or 2 months since a Johnson & Johnson dose