CDC COVID Guidelines as of January 6, 2022
WHAT TO DO IF YOU OR YOUR CHILD HAS COVID:
Everyone with Covid should stay home and isolate for five days, regardless of vaccination status. If you have no symptoms, then Day 0 is the day of the positive test. If you are sick, then Day 0 is the first day of symptoms. If you test positive and are initially asymptomatic but then develop symptoms, count the onset of symptoms as Day 0.
After five days, if you have no symptoms or the symptoms are resolving, you can leave the house, wearing a mask for an additional five days. If you have a fever, stay home until the fever resolves. Try to avoid travel for 10 days.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU OR YOUR CHILD ARE EXPOSED TO COVID:
People who have had COVID in the past 3 months don’t need a new test, unless a new infection with COVID is suspected.
If you are fully vaccinated, you don’t need to quarantine. Just wear a mask for 10 days. If possible, get a test on day five. Count the most recent date of exposure as Day 0. If you develop symptoms, get a test immediately and stay home.
If you are exposed but not fully vaccinated, stay home for five days. After that wear a mask around others for five more days. If you can’t quarantine, then wear a mask for 10 days. Get a test on day five if possible. If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.
Keep in mind that there can be a high false-negative rate with antigen tests, especially early in the course of illness. Later in the course, when an individual is recovering and is no longer contagious, PCR and rapid molecular tests may remain positive because they are so sensitive.
COVID VACCINATION AFTER INFECTION
Even if you have a natural infection with Covid, you should still get vaccinated. How long should you wait to get a vaccine if you recently had Covid? The CDC has not provided set guidelines on this question. Anyone who is feeling better can reasonably get a vaccine at any time. However, following a Covid infection, natural immunity may remain high for 2-3 months, meaning that it’s probably okay to delay the vaccine for 60-90 days following infection. On the other hand, there is no harm in getting the vaccine early.
COVID AND SPORTS CLEARANCE FOR ATHLETES:
Sports clearance by a doctor following a Covid infection cannot be completed until the isolation period has finished. In light of the revised guidelines, kids with asymptomatic or mild Covid can be cleared for sports participation after the five-day isolation period, as long as the symptoms are resolving. Sports clearance for mild Covid does not require an in-person office visit. A questionnaire focusing on potential cardiac symptoms can be completed over the phone. Children with moderate Covid (fever for more than 4 days, systemic symptoms for more than one week) need to be evaluated in person.