Quarantine Guidance for the General Community Per the CDC, quarantine guidance for the general public includes: Standard Quarantine Period 14 days have passed since the last date of exposure to COVID-19 AND No symptoms have developed during this time period People Who Have Received the COVID-19 Vaccine Per the CDC, people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine do not need to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria: Are fully vaccinated (i.e., at least 2 weeks after getting their second dose in a 2-dose series or one-dose of a single-dose series) Have had no symptoms from when they were exposed to someone with COVID-19 Live outside of a group setting. Individuals in group settings such as group homes, jails, etc., still need to quarantine following an exposure. After an exposure of COVID-19, fully vaccinated individuals should get tested 3-5 days after exposure and wear a mask around others until you get a negative test result. For more information, please see NCDHHS’s Interim Guidance for Individuals Who have Been Vaccinated. Recognizing the challenges on both individuals out of work and our public health system, CDC released guidance on alternative options to reduce the quarantine period. These options are listed below. However, your local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. Please follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine. Alternative Option 1 10 days have passed since the last date of exposure to COVID-19 AND No symptoms have developed during this time period Alternative Option 2 7 days have passed since the last date of exposure to COVID-19 AND No symptoms have developed during this time period AND The contact has a negative PCR or antigen-based test collected at least 5 days after the last date of exposure to COVID-19 While the recommended quarantine period continues to be 14 days since the last date of exposure to COVID-19, current data demonstrate that only 2 percent of exposed persons develop illness after more than 10 days of the last exposure to COVID-19. This means that the quarantine period can be shortened with only a small increased risk of transmission. If quarantine is discontinued before day 14, the individual must continue to monitor for symptoms and strictly adhere to all prevention measures (e.g., mask wearing, social distancing, etc.) until 14 days after the last date of exposure. Child Care and K-12 Settings NCDHHS recommends following the above CDC guidance in these settings, including utilizing the standard quarantine period or alternative options and the post-vaccination guidance. Additionally, after a close contact in a classroom or child care setting, children who are not fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine, if masks were being worn appropriately and consistently by both the person with COVID-19 and the potential exposed person. This is based on updated CDC guidance and studies that have shown extremely low risk of COVID-19 transmission in classroom settings when face masks were being used appropriately by both the person with COVID-19 and the potentially exposed person, as well as multiple layers of prevention measures in place to prevent transmission in school settings. This applies to exposures in classrooms, other in-school and child care settings, and school transportation but does not apply to exposures during extracurricular or athletic activities. This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting. Congregate Living Facilities NCDHHS strongly recommends that a full 14-day quarantine (regardless of vaccination status) be implemented in congregate living facilities that are at higher risk for secondary clusters or where residents may be at higher risk for severe illness. This includes nursing homes, residential care facilities and correctional facilities. Read additional information on the CDC website.