Current Environment:

As experts learn more about SARS-CoV-2, there have been some subtle changes in recommendations regarding quarantine periods. The CDC has a helpful page with current guidelines regarding quarantine and isolation. We understand that many of these terms may be confusing (isolation, quarantine, case, close contact, etc.). This page on the CDC website has clear definitions of all of these terms. In short, QUARANTINE keeps someone who may have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 away from others while ISOLATION keeps someone who is infected with the virus away from others, even in their own home. If you are subject to isolation or quarantine, you will likely get a call from MA COVID Team (with an 833 or 857 area code) and/or from your local Board of Health or local COVID official. Please answer the call and provide the requested information.

Current quarantine recommendations

Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

Current isolation recommendations

Isolation keeps someone with known COVID-19 away from others to help stop the spread of the virus. Individuals should stay home, preferably in a separate area of the house, i.e., separate bedroom and bathroom if possible. Masks should be worn when around other people in the home if complete isolation is not possible. Wear gloves and a mask when cleaning household items. Surface should be cleaned frequently with household disinfectant. Monitor symptoms closely and seek medical attention for severe or worsening symptoms.

What do I do if I test positive or have been exposed to COVID-19?

On Monday, December 27, 2021, the CDC revised guidance regarding isolation and quarantine based on the most recent science that the majority of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19) occurs soon after infection. While the greatest risk of transmission occurs in the first few days after infection, there is some residual risk of transmission after 5 days of infection.

People who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status:

  • Isolate at home for a minimum of 5 days. If there are multiple members in the household, all members should wear a mask during isolation.
  • If symptoms are improving after 5 days and 24 hours have past without fever (without use of fever-reducing medication), or if there were never symptoms, patients may leave isolation after 5 days (release on day 6).
  • Anyone who tests positive should wear a mask around other people, including when at home with members of their household, for an additional 5 days following discontinuation of isolation
  • If your child develops a fever, significant/worsening symptoms, or if you have any concerns about your child – please make an appointment with one of our providers for evaluation.

People who are exposed to someone with COVID-19

If you have completed a primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series (Pfizer or Moderna) within the past 6 months or received a dose of the Janssen/J&J vaccine within the past two months or have completed a vaccine series at any point and received a booster:

  • No quarantine required if asymptomatic (but isolate if symptoms develop and obtain testing).
  • Get tested on day 5 following exposure, if at all possible.
  • Wear a mask when around other people for 10 days.

If you are unvaccinated or completed a primary mRNA vaccine series over 6 months ago and are not boosted or received the Janssen/J&J vaccine over two months ago and are not boosted:

  • Quarantine at home for 5 days from the date of last exposure (release on day 6), then continue to wear a mask around other people for 5 additional days.
  • Get tested on day 5 following exposure, if at all possible.

Continued mask wearing when around other people following quarantine or isolation is essential to minimize the continued risk of transmission that remains after the outlined quarantine or isolation periods.

Prevention of COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccines are available for patients 5 years and older, and are a great way to protect your child and family. Please see vaccine eligibility/information pages on our website for details.

Other ways to prevent the spread of COVID, as well as other respiratory viruses, include:

  • Wash your hands OFTEN with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) if soap/water not available
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when you are around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.