Positive test after quarantine? Here’s what the CDC says to do

(NEXSTAR) – You stayed home, recuperated, did all the puzzles in your house, and watched a bad Netflix show. Yet, after the CDC-recommended COVID-19 isolation period, you still tested positive. Now what?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently shortened his quarantine period from 10 days to five days. (According to the CDC, “day 0” is the day you first started experiencing symptoms or tested positive for the coronavirus.)

Current guidelines do not require you to test negative before ending quarantine. “The CDC does not specifically recommend ‘testing out of isolation,’ but using a time-based strategy that considers symptoms to determine the best time to end isolation,” said one. agency spokesperson at Nexstar.

However, the agency says: “If a person has access to a test and wishes to be tested, the best approach is to use an antigen test near the end of the 5-day isolation period.”

You should also wait until you are fever-free for 24 hours and your other symptoms generally improve before taking this optional end-of-quarantine test.

The hope is that you will test negative and you will be able to reenter the world. But what if your COVID-19 test comes back positive? Here’s what the CDC says to do.

If your test is positive on day 5

If it’s day five or so of your isolation and you still test positive, the CDC recommends that you continue to stay home and away from others for another five days, bringing the total length of your quarantine at 10 days.

If your test is positive on day 10

CDC guidelines posted online do not address this specific scenario, making it confusing for a person whose symptoms may have been gone for days but still test positive at the end of the isolation period.

But just because you tested positive doesn’t mean you’re contagious, the CDC says.

A CDC spokesperson clarified the agency’s guidance to Nexstar: “Testing after the end of a 10-day isolation period is not recommended due to the risk of false positive test results. People are no longer considered infectious (capable of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19) after 10 days have passed since they were infected.

Rapid home tests can still show positive results 10 days after your first illness, and highly sensitive PCR tests can still show positive for weeks or even months.

As long as you haven’t had a fever for at least 24 hours and your other symptoms are improving, the CDC says you can leave isolation after 10 full days.

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