LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Kentucky just concluded a record-breaking week of positive COVID-19 cases thanks to the surging omicron variant. The need for clear guidance on isolation and quarantine is critical, but guidance from the CDC is continuously changing and can be confusing.
If you were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you quarantine, and if you test positive for COVID-19, you isolate.
Calculating how long you need to isolate for, as guidelines currently stand, people with COVID-19 are asked to stay home for at least five days. Regardless of vaccination status, the CDC considers day zero to be your first day of symptoms or a positive coronavirus test. Day one is the first full day after your symptoms develop or your test was collected.
At the end of the five days, a rapid test is optional. However, given how easily omicron spreads, you should wear a mask around others for five additional days after you begin isolating. Also, avoid travel and spending time with people who are high risk.
The guidelines are relying on symptoms to point out how infectious you are. Isolation ends if your symptoms improve. This means you have been fever-free for 24 hours without taking medication to lower your temperature. You should isolate yourself for 10 days if you are severely ill, and talk to your doctor before ending isolation. If you’re asymptomatic, you can end isolation five days after your positive test.