MMWR COVID

Updates to COVID-19 Guidance for Communities, K-12 Schools, and Early Care and Education Programs

Aug 11, 2022 | Beth Hess

CDC has released updates to its general COVID-19 community guidance as well as its Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools and Early Care and Education (ECE) Programs. CDC also released an MMWR related to these updates.

Changes to the general COVID-19 community guidance include removing the need to quarantine after exposure, regardless of vaccination status, and clarifying isolation recommendations following COVID-19 exposure or a positive test within the community, school, and ECE settings.

The K-12/ECE guidance has been updated to remove prior recommendations for cohorting, quarantine, and Test-to-Stay measures in the K-12 school and ECE settings.

In support of this guidance, CDC is:

  • Continuing to promote the importance of being up to date with vaccination to protect people against serious illness, hospitalization, and death.
  • Updating its guidance for people who are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines on what to do if exposed to someone with COVID-19. This is consistent with the existing guidance for people who are up to date on COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Recommending that instead of quarantining if you were exposed to COVID-19, you wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 5.
  • Reiterating that regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate from others when you have COVID-19.
  • Recommending that if you test positive for COVID-19, you stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days. Wear a high-quality mask when you must be around others at home and in public.
  • Recommending that if you had moderate illness (if you experienced shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing) or severe illness (you were hospitalized) due to COVID-19 or you have a weakened immune system, you need to isolate through day 10.
  • Recommending that if you had severe illness or have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before ending isolation. Ending isolation without a viral test may not be an option for you. If you are unsure if your symptoms are moderate or severe or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to a healthcare provider for further guidance.
  • Emphasizing that physical distance is just one component of how to protect yourself and others. It is important to consider the risk in a particular setting, including local COVID-19 Community Levels and the important role of ventilation, when assessing the need to maintain physical distance.

Please find links to the updated materials below:

Please each out to [email protected] if you have any questions or feedback about this guidance.


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