Quarantine Guidance for the General Community

For the general public, quarantine can be ended if the following is true:

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

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.

Congregate Living Facilities

NCDHHS recommends that a full 14-day quarantine should be strongly considered 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.