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Despite the ongoing development of COVID, do you still need to quarantine after exposure? Here’s what Chicago’s top doctor says – NBC Chicago

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still ranks the spread of the city’s COVID community as “high,” Chicago Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady on Tuesday that as the virus evolves, current guidelines could change as well.

“I think the guidelines are evolving,” Arwady said during a Facebook Live update Tuesday, referring to the CDC’s current logs.

“I think they’re going to double down on that idea of ​​isolation,” Arwady said Tuesday. “…You must be home. You must wear a mask. And I think we’ll see more, you know, if you might have been in contact, wear that mask, get tested.”

As the 2022-2023 school year approaches, Chicago Public Schools have announced new COVID protocols for students and staff, including advancing without mandates but implementing “close contact” and “test-to-stay” procedures.

And while the CDC is expected to release new school COVID guidelines soon, Arwady said Tuesday that while she doesn’t expect much to change in terms of guidelines on isolation, she sees the potential for quarantine to evolve .

“We as a society are moving away from quarantine,” Arwady said. “Not away from isolation, but away from quarantine for people who may have been exposed.”

However, Arwady emphasized that the current guidelines have not changed, but often depend on the virus or even the variant.

“I don’t expect any changes to the isolation or quarantine protocols anytime soon. We have different isolation and quarantine protocols for different viruses depending on how the virus behaves. We don’t have to do these kinds of ‘shutdown’ things in the absence of a scary new twist. I hope we never go there again. But it’s kind of a risk/reward balance there.

Here’s a breakdown of current COVID quarantine guidelines if you’ve been exposed, regardless of vaccination status.

Here is the current quarantine guide:

If you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, you should be quarantined if you are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines or are unvaccinated. For these individuals, CDC and IDPH recommend you:

  • Stay home and away from others for at least five days after your last contact with someone who has COVID-19. The date of your exposure counts as day zero. If possible, wear a well-fitting mask at home when you are with others.
  • Watch for a fever (100.4◦F or greater), cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms for 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19.
  • If you develop symptoms, get tested immediately and isolate until you get your test results. If you test positive, follow isolation recommendations.
  • If you don’t develop symptoms, get tested at least five days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
    • If your test is negative, you can leave your home but continue to wear a well-fitting mask when you are at home and in public with others for up to 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19.
    • If you have tested positive, you should isolate yourself (if you have no symptoms) for at least five days from the date of your positive test. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, isolate yourself for at least five days from the date your symptoms began (the date symptoms began is Day 0). Follow the recommendations in the Insulation section below.
    • If you cannot get a test five days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19, you can leave home after the fifth day if you have not had any COVID-19 symptoms for the entire five-day period. Wear a well-fitting mask when around others at home and in public for 10 days after your last close contact.
    • Avoid people who have compromised immune systems or are more likely to contract COVID-19, and nursing homes and other high-risk facilities for at least 10 days.
  • If possible, for the full 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19, stay away from people you live with, especially those who are at higher risk of becoming very ill with COVID-19 , as well as from other people outside your home .
  • If you cannot quarantine, you should wear a well-fitting mask at home and in public for 10 days when you are with others.
  • If you cannot wear a mask around others, you should continue quarantine for 10 days. Avoid those who have compromised immune systems or are more likely to contract COVID-19, and nursing homes and other high-risk facilities for at least 10 days.
  • Do not travel during your five-day quarantine period. Get tested at least five days after your last close contact and make sure before you travel that your test result is negative and you have no symptoms. If you don’t get tested, delay travel until 10 days after your last close contact with a person with COVID-19. If you must travel before the end of the 10 days, wear a well-fitting mask when around others throughout the 10 days of travel. If you cannot wear a mask, you should not travel during the 10 days.
  • Do not go to places where you cannot wear a mask, such as B. Restaurants and some gyms, and avoid eating with others at home and at work until 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19.

Those who have close contacts with someone with COVID but are up to date on their vaccinations or have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 90 days do not need to quarantine, but the CDC recommends they do a well wear. after the last exposure, put a mask around others for 10 days and get tested after at least five days.

Here is the current isolation guide:

According to the CDC, people who are positive for COVID should stay home until it is safe for them to be around others, including other members of their home.

Health officials recommend a “sickroom” or area for infected people and a separate bathroom if possible.

But isolation may not just be for those who have tested positive. The CDC also recommends people who have symptoms of COVID-19 and are awaiting test results or have not yet been tested isolate “even if they don’t know if they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.”

How do you end isolation?

  • You can end isolation after five full days if you have been fever-free for 24 hours without taking antipyretic medication and your other symptoms have improved (loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation ).
  • If, after five days of isolation, you continue to have a fever or your other symptoms have not improved, you should wait until you have been fever-free for 24 hours without using antipyretics and your other symptoms have improved before ending your isolation. Continue to wear a well-fitting mask until day 10. Contact your doctor if you have any questions.
  • Do not go to places where you cannot wear a mask, such as restaurants and some gyms, and avoid eating with others at home and at work until a full 10 days after your first day of symptoms.

How do you calculate your isolation time?

According to the CDC, “Day zero is your first day with symptoms.” This means that day one is the first full day after your symptoms develop.

For those who have tested positive for COVID but have no symptoms, day zero is the day of the positive test. However, those who develop symptoms after a positive test must start their calculations over, with day 0 then becoming the first day of symptoms.

According to CDC guidelines, people in isolation should:

  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have any emergency warning sign (including difficulty breathing), seek emergency medical attention immediately.
  • If possible, stay in a separate room from other household members.
  • If possible, use a separate bathroom.
  • If possible, take steps to improve ventilation in the home.
  • Avoid contact with other household members and pets.
  • Do not share personal household items such as cups, towels and utensils.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask if you need to be around other people.

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