perspective view closeup of medical protection face mask left by the closed window near door handle quarantine concept

New CDC and IDPH Guidance for COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine

Jan 4, 2022

Share to:

On December 30, 2021, the Illinois Department of Public Health (“IDPH”) adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) guidance on shortening isolation and quarantine periods for COVID-19 for the general public, which was issued December 27, 2021. 

The updated CDC guidance reduces the isolation period for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 from 10 days to 5 days with limitations. The updated CDC guidance also reduces the quarantine period for asymptomatic individuals who are close contacts to someone with COVID-19 to 5 days with limitations. 

While the IDPH has adopted the updated CDC guidance, Illinois school districts are excepted from the changes and must continue to follow the current IDPH COVID-19 School Guidance as required by the Governor’s Executive Order 2021-25, IDPH’s Emergency Rules, and IDPH and ISBE’s Joint Guidance on excluding individuals from schools. Action by ISBE or IDPH to amend the requirements for schools is possible, and we will report out any changes if and when they are announced. 

For non-school districts and health care settings, the updated CDC/IDPH guidance provides the following:

Positive Test Result:

  • Regardless of vaccination status, if an individual tests positive for COVID-19, they should isolate for 5 days after onset of symptoms or 5 days after a positive test if no symptoms are present. If there are no symptoms or the symptoms have resolved after 5 days, they are released from isolation. They should wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.

Close Contact Case:

  • When an individual is a close contact to someone with COVID-19, the quarantine period is dependent upon vaccination status as follows:
  • If the individual has received a booster or completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines within the last 6 months (or the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last two months), then no quarantine is necessary if they are asymptomatic, but they should wear a mask around others for 10 days and test on day 5 if possible. If symptoms develop, they should quarantine until they receive a negative test result.
  • If an individual is unvaccinated or has not received a booster and received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines over 6 months ago (or J&J vaccine over two months ago), they must quarantine for 5 days and continue to wear a mask around others for an additional 5 days. The individual should test on day 5 if possible. If symptoms develop, they should quarantine until they receive a negative test result.

The CDC updated guidance has drawn criticism and there is an indication that the guidance may be further modified in the upcoming days which would likely have an impact on the IDPH guidance.  Robbins Schwartz will continue to monitor for new developments, including any changes for school districts, and report updates as additional information becomes available. Please reach out to your Robbins Schwartz attorney if you have any questions.