Response Protocol Appendix D - Return the Work / School Guidelines

Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Guidance for Ending Isolation

There are three options for people who have Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 to be able to end isolation and return to work or school:

  1. OPTION 1 (Symptom-based criteria): If you have Confirmed COVID-19 or Suspected COVID-19 and you did not get tested for COVID-19, you can leave isolation and go back to work when all the following are true:
    1. a. You have had at least 24 hours with no fever at all; AND
    2. b. During those 24 hours you have not taken any fever-reducing medication such as
    3. Tylenol, Acetaminophen, Advil, Ibuprofen, Aleve, or Naproxen; AND
    4. c. Your symptoms have improved; AND
    5. d. It has been at least 10 days since your symptoms first started.
    Note that because people may continue to test positive on a viral test long after they are recovered from COVID-19, you can end isolation if all of a, b, c, and d are true even if you have one or more positive viral tests beyond 10 days after your symptoms first started. If you meet all the criteria for Option 1 you are considered not contagious, even if you have a positive test.
  2. OPTION 2 (Time-based criteria): If you have Confirmed COVID-19 but never had symptoms, you can return to work 10 days after the date of your positive test.

If you never had a positive test for the COVID-19 virus (i.e. you do NOT have Confirmed COVID-19) but you had at least one of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, you may be able to go back to work sooner if:

  • You get a single negative virus test, AND
  • Your symptoms are better, AND
  • You have not had a fever for 24 hours.

Close Contact Guidance to End Quarantine

If you are unvaccinated, or not fully vaccinated, after having Close Contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you must self-quarantine at home for 10 days to watch and wait to see if you develop symptoms of COVID-19. Do not go to school or work.

If you have had Close Contact and:

  • If you do not develop any symptoms, you can end quarantine 10 days after your last close contact with the confirmed COVID-19 case;
  • If you get a positive COVID-19 test, then you have Confirmed COVID-19 and you can end isolation using one of the three options described above;
  • If you get a negative COVID-19 test, you must still remain in Quarantine for 10 days after your last close contact with the confirmed COVID-19 case

If you are fully vaccinated, there is no requirement to quarantine. You should monitor your symptoms and get tested 3-5 days after contact.