Remember that isolating keeps sick people separate from healthy people and can last at least 10 days. Quarantining restricts movement and contact between healthy people who have been exposed and others and can last between five and 14 days.
The information below is to provide some insight into unique quarantine periods. Students and employees are still asked to submit an online self-report in any situation and allow the COVID-19 Response Team to provide specific guidance.
Situations that may lessen the standard 10- to 14-day quarantine period:
- A reporter feels ill but has had no known direct exposure, has only one symptom, or symptoms may not be COVID-like at all. The COVID-19 Response Team may ask the reporter to quarantine until they can be tested. If the test is negative, they may be released from quarantine at that time.
- A reporter has been identified as or believes to have been in close contact with someone who might have COVID (e.g., the exposing person is awaiting taking the test or test results). The Response Team may ask the reporter to quarantine until the exposing person receives their test results. If the exposing person's results are negative, the reporter is released from quarantine at that time
- A reporter is quarantined, and if during which time they remain asymptomatic, and track and report symptoms daily, they can exit quarantine at seven days (if they test negative for the virus with a diagnostic test on Day 5 or later).
- A reporter submits a report because they believe they are a close contact. If the reporter is vaccinated and asymptomatic, they are not required to quarantine.
24-day quarantines are required of some unvaccinated individuals, especially those who live with someone who has tested positive and from whom they cannot separate in a house. This is called a household contact. Household contacts share any living spaces-such as a bathroom, bedroom or kitchen-with a person who has tested positive. Household contacts must quarantine for 14 days after the last possible exposure that could cause infection. That last exposure is 10 days from the start of the infected person's symptoms.
For example, a person may live with a spouse/child or another family member who tests positive and with whom they share living spaces, such as one bathroom or one bedroom. They may not be able to physically isolate themselves from that person within their household (e.g., sharing a bed, the parent must care for a small child who is unable to care for themselves, an individual refuse to separate from the sick person). Their 14-day quarantine would start after their spouse/child or a family member has completed his or her own 10-day quarantine.
The following graphic from the Georgia Department of Public Health, published in August 2021, sheds further light on current quarantine guidelines.
COVID-19 Quarantine for non-vaccinated* people with no symptoms
Full 14-days (Safest) - Quarantine at home
After 10 days, no test - Quarantine at home for 10 days, then after being released from quarantine, monitor for symptoms, wear a mask, and social distance until day 14
After 7 days with test - Quarantine at home for 7 days, then after being released from quarantine after negative test result, monitor for symptoms, wear a mask, and social distance until day 14
*Fully vaccinated individuals DO NOT need to quarantine, but should follow the basic prevention measures:
- Wear a mask
- Social distance
- Avoid crowds
- Wash hands frequently