New York State Approves CDC’s Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines for COVID-19 | Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC

[co-author: Jared Joyce]

On September 14, 2022, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) issued updated COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines, effectively replacing the guidelines of May 31, 2022. Under the Sept. 14 guidelines, the NYSDOH will now follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on quarantine and isolation.

Quarantine

Perhaps most importantly, under CDC guidelines, asymptomatic individuals exposed to COVID-19 do not need to be quarantined regardless of vaccination status. Instead, those exposed to COVID-19 must wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and be tested on day 5. Those who test positive must isolate themselves according to the isolation rules below.

The NYSDOH’s approval of the CDC’s guidelines puts an end to its previous approach of establishing different quarantine periods for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. In particular, the CDC guidelines also state that screening asymptomatic individuals with no known exposure to COVID-19 will no longer be recommended in most community settings.

Insulation

The requirement for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 to self-isolate has not changed under current guidelines. Individuals who test positive are now being instructed to follow the CDC’s isolation measures. The NYSDOH’s Isolation webpage directs visitors to the CDC’s August 11, 2022 Isolation Guidelines, which establish the standards below:

When should I insulate?

  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate regardless of vaccination status.
  • Individuals awaiting test results should also isolate themselves if they experience symptoms of COVID-19. Those who test negative can put an end to the isolation. Those who test positive must isolate for a minimum of 5 days, depending on the severity of their symptoms.

How long should I insulate?

Symptomatic individuals

  • Individuals who are symptomatic should isolate for at least 5 days, with day 0 being the day of testing, not the day a positive test result was received.
  • If symptoms improve after day 5, their isolation may end as long as they are fever-free for at least 24 hours without the aid of fever-suppressing medication.
  • If a person’s symptoms do not improve after day 5, they should continue to isolate until their symptoms begin to improve and they are fever-free for at least 24 hours without the aid of fever-suppressing medication.
  • Individuals who have experienced moderate illness (shortness of breath or difficulty breathing) should isolate through day 10. Those with more symptoms or who have been hospitalized should isolate for at least 10 days and see a doctor before ending isolation.

Asymptomatic persons

  • Individuals who are asymptomatic should be isolated for 5 days.

Symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals who experience worsening symptoms after the end of their initial isolation period should resume isolation on Day 0.

Recommendations after isolation

Regardless of when a person’s isolation ended, those who tested positive for COVID-19 should take the following precautions until at least Day 11:

  • Avoid being near people who may develop a serious illness if they become infected with COVID-19;
  • Continue to wear a high-quality mask in indoor areas; and
  • Avoid public transport and other public places if wearing a mask is not possible.

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