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As of January 9, 2024, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has changed the isolation guidance for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and testing guidance for close contacts of an infected person. This guidance moves away from 5 days of isolation and instead focuses on clinical symptoms to determine when to end isolation.
Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19
- Should pay close attention to their symptoms and stay home when they have a fever and/or feel ill.
- Individuals should stay home if they have COVID-19 symptoms, until they have not had a fever for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication AND other COVID-19 symptoms are mild and improving. (Staying home for 5 days is no longer required.)
- Masking recommendations have not changed. All individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and all individuals with respiratory symptoms should wear a mask around others when indoors for 10 days from when symptoms started or the positive test date (if no symptoms).
- For more information on masking, please see When and Why To Wear a Mask.
- Avoid contact with people at higher-risk for severe COVID-19 for 10 days (elderly, those who live in congregate care facilities and those who have immunocompromising conditions).
- Seek treatment if you have symptoms, particularly if you are at higher risk for severe COVID-19. Contact your healthcare provider as soon as you test positive.
Individuals who are close contacts to persons known to be infected with COVID-19
- If you have new COVID-19 symptoms, you should test and mask right away.
- If you do not have symptoms, and are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection and would benefit from treatment, you should test within 5 days.
- If you do not have symptoms and have contact with people who are at higher risk for severe infection, you should mask indoors when around such people for 10 days. Consider testing within 5 days after the last exposure date (Day 0) and before contact with higher-risk people. For further details, see CDPH COVID-19 testing guidance.
- For close contacts with symptoms, masking and testing is still recommended.
Note: This guidance does not apply to healthcare personnel or healthcare settings.
This guidance is applicable to the general public and to school and child care settings, but employers must still follow CalOSHA rules, and the current Winter Masking Order is still in place for certain healthcare settings from November 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024.
For more information visit CDPH:
- Order of the State Public Health Officer Covid-19 Infection Control
- Public Health Order Questions & Answers: COVID-19 Disease Control and Prevention
- COVID-19 Isolation Guidance
- Isolation Q & A
- Updated COVID-19 Testing Guidance