UPDATED Isolation and Quarantine Recommendations


The Town of East Hartford is advising residents that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shortened the recommended time for COVID-19 isolation. This new guidance applies to patients who are asymptomatic after a five-day period. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for 5 days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others.

Additionally, CDC is updating the recommended quarantine period for those exposed to COVID-19. For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days. Alternatively, if a 5-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure.

Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.  For all those exposed, best practice would also include a test for SARS-CoV-2 at day 5 after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

If you test positive for COVID-19 (reglardless of vaccinaton status), you should:

  • Days 1 - 5: Stay home and isolate
  • Days 6 - 10: If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving, you can leave your house, but continue to wear a mask around others until day 10. However, if you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves without the use of fever-reducing medications (e.g. Tylenol, Motrin).

If you were exposed to COVID-19 and boosted, you should:

  • Days 1 - 10: Wear a mask around others for the full 10 days. If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, stay home and isolate.
  • Day 5: Get tested for COVID-19, if possible.

If you were exposed to COVID-19 and unvaccinated OR were vaccinated >6 months ago (Pfizer/Moderna) or >2 months ago (J&J), you should:

  • Days 1 - 5: Stay home and quarantine. If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, get a test and stay home.
  • Day 5: Get tested for COVID-19, if possible.
  • Days 6 - 10: Continue to wear a mask around others. 

For questions regarding quarantine and isolation guidance, please contact the East Hartford Health Department at 860-291-7324.