CSAC Bulletin Article

Updated Isolation and Quarantine Guidance

August 6, 2020

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated their guidance issued for isolation and quarantine for COVID-19 contact tracing. Isolation and quarantine procedures are core to containing the COVID-19 virus. CDPH defines isolation as separating individuals infected with a contagious disease from those who are not infected, and quarantine is defined as, restricting the movement of persons who are exposed to a contagious disease in case they are infected. The updated guidance follows the recent CDC changes, and acknowledges the importance of these public health procedures, while recognizing the difficulty for the public to adhere to a long duration of isolation and quarantine.

The guidance offers steps to effectively isolate and quarantine at home. The document provides an update to the isolation duration of both asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals. Pursuant to the new guidance, asymptomatic individuals should isolate for 10 days from the date of the positive COVID-19 test, which differs from the earlier 14 day recommendation.

The new isolation guidance for symptomatic individuals states isolation can be discontinued after 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms, at least 24 hours have passed since a fever has passed without the assistance of medication, and other symptoms have improved. As new research and data becomes available, CDPH will continue to update their guidance.

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