CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The CDC is releasing updated guidance for isolation and quarantine, and contingency and crisis management for healthcare workers to combat the surge of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Alongside a deceased isolation time, the updates also strategies for healthcare facilities fight back against the effects of staff shortages.

The update included:

  • Healthcare workers with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic can return to work after 7 days with a negative test, and that isolation time can be cut further if there are staffing shortages.
    • Isolation referring to behavior after a confirmed infection.
  • Healthcare workers who have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, including a booster, do not need to quarantine at home following high-risk exposures. 
    • Quarantine referring to isolation following exposure to the virus but without a confirmed infection.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, “As the healthcare community prepares for an anticipated surge in patients due to Omicron, CDC is updating our recommendations to reflect what we know about infection and exposure in the context of vaccination and booster doses. Our goal is to keep healthcare personnel and patients safe, and to address and prevent undue burden on our healthcare facilities. Our priority, remains prevention—and I strongly encourage all healthcare personnel to get vaccinated and boosted.” 

New guidelines only apply to healthcare workers and may be revised as additional information on the Omicron variant becomes available. Additional information will be published on CDC’s website soon.

The CDC recommends everyone 5 and older to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations and everyone 16 and older for boosters.