The State of Vermont has adopted the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for Covid-19 isolation and quarantine, while adding an additional layer of protection.
In addition to the CDC guidance, the Department of Health guidelines allow Vermonters to end isolation on the 5th day if they have gone 24 hours without a fever and have two negative antigen tests performed at least 24 hours apart, beginning no sooner than day 4 of their isolation period. Continuing to wear a mask around others through day 10 of the isolation period is strongly recommended by both the CDC and the Health Department.
The CDC announced its new guidance earlier this week. Governor Phil Scott and Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD said on Tuesday (12/28) that Vermont would be adopting the guidance but needed to review it and state data to ensure it met the needs of all Vermonters, including workers, employers and other sectors. This guidance does not apply to healthcare workers, for whom updated CDC guidance was published on December 23.
A person’s isolation period is the time following a positive test or symptom onset. Quarantine follows exposure to an infected person when a person is a close contact but for the moment is free of infection.
Under the new state guidance, a person with a positive test – regardless of vaccination status – should stay home and isolate for 5 days and notify close contacts that you have tested positive.
You can leave home isolation on Day 5, if:
• you have two negative antigen tests performed at least 24 hours apart beginning no earlier than day 4, and
• you never had symptoms, or your symptoms have improved and you feel better, and
• you have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers, and
• you wear a mask around others through day 10.
Dr. Levine said that “While not requiring testing, we strongly recommend Vermonters adopt this “testing out” strategy to add an important additional layer of protection while exiting isolation, especially in light of the high levels of community transmission of omicron variant we are experiencing.”
The updated quarantine guidance details actions for people to follow depending on their vaccination status.
1. If you have had your booster shot, or completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months, OR completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months:
a. You do not need to quarantine but should wear a mask around others for 10 days.
b. A test on day 5 is recommended. If you test positive, follow guidance: What to do if you test positive for COVID-19.
c. If you develop symptoms at any time, get a test and stay home and isolate from others until you receive your test results.
2. If you completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted, OR completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted, OR are unvaccinated:
a. Stay home and quarantine for 5 days.
b. You can leave your home after day 5 if:
i. you have no symptoms, and
ii. you have one negative PCR or LAMP test on or after day 5 OR two negative antigen tests performed at least 24 hours apart beginning no earlier than day 4, and
iii. you wear a mask around others through day 10.
c. If you test positive, follow guidance: What to do if you test positive for COVID-19
d. If you develop symptoms at any time, get a test and isolate from others until you receive your test results.
Information about COVID-19, including actions to take if you test positive or are a close contact, where to get vaccination and booster shots, testing and protecting yourself and others, is available at healthvermont.gov/covid-19.
Related information for employers about this new guidance can be found at the Agency of Commerce and Community Development COVID-19 Recovery Resource Center: https://accd.vermont.gov/content/mitigating-and-responding-covid-19-workplace.