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Utah issues new COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidelines

Salt Lake City COVID testing
Posted at 9:58 AM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 11:58:34-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health issued new COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidelines Monday that mimic those recently announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

READ: Get boosted or get COVID, warns Salt Lake County health director

Under the updated guidelines, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should:

  • Stay at home for 5 days from the day you were tested, even if you don’t have symptoms or feel sick. You can leave your house after 5 days if your symptoms have improved (fever-free without medicine for at least 24 hours and your symptoms have improved). You must stay home for at least 5 days.
  • Wear a mask around others for the 5 days after your home isolation.

For those who are exposed to COVID-19, quarantine guidelines depend on the person’s age and whether the person is up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations. Public health officials recommend anyone who is exposed to COVID-19 get tested 5 days after their exposure and wear a mask around others.

  • Adults aged 18 and older who have had their booster dose or are recently vaccinated (meaning they’ve had a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months, or had a J&J vaccine within the last 2 months) don’t need to quarantine at home. These individuals can continue to go to work and participate in activities; however, they should wear a mask for the 10 days after their exposure.
  • Anyone younger than 18 who is up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations (meaning they’ve had 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine) doesn’t need to quarantine at home. These individuals can continue to go to school and work and participate in activities; however they should wear a mask for the 10 days after their exposure.
  • People of all ages who are unvaccinated, have not received a booster dose, or are not recently vaccinated (meaning they’ve only had one dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or were vaccinated with J&J more than 2 months ago) should quarantine at home for 5 days from the day they were exposed. They can end quarantine after 5 days as long as they don’t have any symptoms. They should wear a mask around others for the 5 days after they end quarantine at home. Students may attend school so long as they wear a mask at school for the 10 days after their exposure.

The new guidelines come as Utah and the country deal with an enormous surge in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant of the virus. Unofficial reports from UDOH showed the state recorded its highest single-day number of cases Friday with an estimated 4,700 cases.

“We’ve worked with many different groups this week to review the changes CDC recommended. Together with the Governor's office, state and local public health leaders, healthcare leaders, and education officials we worked to make a plan that will work best for Utah,” said Dr. Leisha Nolen, state epidemiologist at UDOH. “These guidelines are effective immediately for schools, businesses, and community members."

The department said it would consider making additional changes and follow the lead of the CDC.