The Centers for Disease Control this week announced that those vaccinated against COVID-19, and who meet certain criteria, do not have to quarantine if exposed to someone who tests positive.
According to the CDC, vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:
– Are fully vaccinated (i.e. more than two weeks following receipt of the second dose in a two-dose series, or more than two weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
– Are within three months following receipt of the last dose in the series
– Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure
Persons who do not meet all three of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Additionally, fully vaccinated persons who do not quarantine should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure. If they experience symptoms, they should be tested for COVID-19.
As an exception to the above guidance no longer requiring quarantine for fully vaccinated persons, vaccinated inpatients and residents in healthcare settings should continue to quarantine following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. This exception is due to the unknown vaccine effectiveness in this population, the higher risk of severe disease and death, and challenges with social distancing in healthcare settings.
CDC’s healthcare infection control guidance contains additional considerations regarding the need to protect healthcare personnel, patients, and residents while also alleviating any staffing shortages.
At this time, vaccinated persons should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a mask, staying at least six feet away from others, avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, following CDC travel guidance, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance, including guidance related to personal protective equipment use or SARS-CoV-2 testing.