facebook pixel
We use cookies to improve your experience on our site. Please accept the Privacy Policy to continue.
Call for an appointment
Call for an appointment 1-844-NYC-4NYC
 

New York State’s Updated Guidance for Isolation and Quarantine

January 28, 2022

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen updates and guidance change based on the science and the current state of the spread of COVID-19.

Test & Trace has been keeping up-to-date on any new pieces that affect New York City including how we approach isolation, quarantine, and protect the population from severe disease. New York State has recently released updated guidance for both cases and contacts.

Isolation is defined as the separation of sick people who are contagious from people who are not sick. Quarantine is defined as restricting the movement of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they too become sick.

Isolation guidance for cases

The isolation period for cases has shortened. In addition, there are several recommendations for precautions to take after completing the newly shortened isolation period.

  • Stay inside your home and safely separate from other people (isolate) for at least 5 full days after the day you took your COVID-19 test (day 0)
  • Wear a well-fitting mask when you are not able to separate from others
  • Tell members of your household and other close contacts you are positive so they can get tested and quarantine if necessary
  • Monitor yourself closely for symptoms until day 10
  • If you develop symptoms, restart isolation for at least 5 full days after your symptoms began (day 0 is now the day your symptoms started) and follow the guidance for people who have symptoms
  • You can stop isolating on day 6 if you have not developed symptoms and are able to wear a well-fitting mask around others for an additional 5 days (from day 6 to day 10)

If you stop isolating on day 6, you should take the following precautions from day 6 to day 10:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public
  • Continue to monitor yourself closely for symptoms
  • Do not go anywhere a mask cannot be worn, such as restaurants and fitness clubs/studios, and avoid eating around others at home and at work
  • Avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, as well as nursing homes and other high-risk settings
  • Avoid travel. If travel on days 6 to 10 cannot be avoided, wear a well-fitting mask when around others for the entire duration of travel. Anyone unable to wear a mask should not travel until after day 10.

If you have or develop symptoms:

  • Stay inside your home and safely separate from other people (isolate) for at least 5 full days after your symptoms began (day 0)
  • Wear a well-fitting mask when you are not able to separate from others
  • Reach out to your health care provider
  • Tell members of your household and other close contacts you are positive so they can get tested and quarantine if necessary
  • Monitor your symptoms closely. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • If you feel better after 5 days — meaning you do not have symptoms or your symptoms are resolving and you have been fever-free without the use of medication for 24 hours— you can stop isolating on day 6 if you are able to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days (from day 6 to day 10)

If you stop isolating on day 6, you should take the following precautions from day 6 to day 10:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public
  • Do not go anywhere a mask cannot be worn, such as restaurants and fitness clubs/studios, and avoid eating around others at home and at work until after day 10
  • Avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, as well as nursing homes and other high-risk settings
  • Avoid travel. If travel on days 6 to 10 cannot be avoided, wear a well-fitting mask when around others for the entire duration of travel. Anyone unable to wear a mask should not travel until after day 10.

If you do not feel better or you still have a fever after 5 days of isolation, speak with your health care provider and continue to isolate until your symptoms are resolving and you have been fever-free without the use of medication for 24 hours.

Quarantine guidance for those exposed to COVID-19

There are now additional recommendations for those who have had COVID-19 in the 90 days before their exposure and precautions to take after completing the newly shortened isolation period.

Guidance for contacts depends on vaccination status, i.e., whether one is up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. As a result, there are more guidance “scenarios” for contacts than there are with case guidance.

For contacts who are up to date with their
COVID-19 vaccines OR who have tested
positive for COVID-19 using a viral test
(antigen or PCR) within the last 90 days

If you do not have any COVID-19 symptoms:

You do not need to quarantine as long as you continue to not have any COVID-19 symptoms, but should follow the below guidelines.

  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others, including at home, for 10 full days after the day you were exposed (day 0)
  • Monitor yourself closely for symptoms for 10 days
  • If possible, get tested 5 days after your last exposure.
  • If you had COVID within the last 90 days, you should only get tested if you develop symptoms
  • For 10 days after your last close contact, avoid being around:
    • People who are immunocompromised, are age 65 and older or have a medical condition that increases their risk for severe COVID-19
    • Nursing homes and other high-risk settings

If you have or develop COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Stay inside your home and away from other people (isolate)
  • Reach out to your health care provider
  • Wear a well-fitting mask when you are not able to separate from others
  • Get tested as soon as symptoms develop, even if you have already tested negative, and isolate while awaiting your results
  • If the test result is positive or you cannot get tested, separate from others for at least 5 days from symptom onset (day 0) and follow the guidance for those who test positive for COVID-19
  • Even if you test negative, continue to monitor your symptoms and wear a well-fitting mask around others, including at home, and take additional precautions until day 10

For contacts who are NOT up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines

If you do not have any COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Stay inside your home and away from other people (quarantine) for 5 full days after the day you were exposed (day 0)
  • Wear a well-fitting mask when you are not able to separate from others
  • Monitor yourself closely for symptoms for 10 days
  • If possible, get tested 5 days after your last exposure
  • You can stop quarantining after 5 days (on day 6) as long as you have been symptom-free throughout the 5-day period and are able to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days (from day 6 to day 10)
  • Once you end quarantine on day 6, you should take the following precautions from day 6 to day 10:
    • Wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public. Wearing a well-fitting mask following isolation decreases the small risk of transmitting the virus to others.
    • Do not go anywhere a mask cannot be worn, such as restaurants and fitness clubs/studios, and avoid eating around others at home and at work
    • Avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, as well as nursing homes and other high-risk settings until after at least 10 days
    • Avoid travel. If travel on days 6 to 10 cannot be avoided, wear a well-fitting mask when around others for the entire duration of travel. Anyone unable to wear a mask should not travel until after day 10.

If you have or develop COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Stay inside your home and away from other people (isolate)
  • Wear a well-fitting mask when you are not able to separate from others
  • Reach out to your health care provider
  • Get tested as soon as symptoms develop, even if you have already tested negative, and isolate while awaiting your results
  • If the test result is positive or you cannot get tested, separate from others for at least 5 days from symptom onset (day 0) and follow the guidance for those who test positive
  • Even if you test negative, you should quarantine for at least 5 days after your last exposure (day 0), continue to monitor your symptoms, wear a well-fitting mask around others, including at home, and take additional precautions until day 10

Please note: The above guidance for both shortened isolation and quarantine does not apply to those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised or cannot wear a mask for 5 full days. It also does not apply to children under age 2, who are not recommended to wear masks. Individuals in these aforementioned categories should isolate and/or quarantine for a full 10 days.

You can visit the New York State Department of Health website and check out their updated isolation and quarantine guidance for any more updates that may come in the future.

More from the Test & Treat Corner: