UPDATED 12/30: The CDC shortened the recommended quarantine (for exposed) and isolation (for positive test or symptoms) guidelines. These shortened guidelines apply to asymptomatic patients only. If your child has symptoms, you need to continue to isolate them. The most common symptoms associated with the Omicron variant are sore throat, nasal congestion, achiness (specifically back ache), and headache. Fever and cough can be present but are less common. Many patients do not lose their senses of smell and taste.
The changes in the guidelines are reflected below:
If your child test positive for COVID-19 (Isolate)– these guidelines apply to everyone regardless of vaccination status.
- Keep your child home and isolated for 5 days (days 1-5) – with the first day being the day they test positive or the first day of their symptoms.
- If your child has NO SYMPTOMS at day 5, then they are OK to leave isolation with strict high-quality mask use. If they HAVE SYMPTOMS at day 5, they must wait until they are exhibiting no symptoms, then it is OK to leave isolation with strict high-quality mask use.
- Your child must always follow strict high-quality mask use when around others, even others in your own home, for 5 full days once they leave isolation, regardless of which day the isolation ends
If your child was exposed to someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)– these guidelines are different depending on your child’s vaccination status. For everyone who has been boosted, completed a primary series of Pfizer or Moderna within the last 6 months, or complete the primary series of the J&J vaccine within the last 2 months.
- Wear a high-quality mask around others for 10 days.
- If you develop symptoms, stay home, isolate and test.
- If you do not develop symptoms, test on day 5, if possible.
If you child was exposed to someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)– these guidelines are different depending on your child’s vaccination status. For everyone who is unvaccinated, completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted, or completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna over 6 months ago and are not boosted.
- Stay home for 5 days. If they do not develop symptoms, continue to wear a high-quality mask around other for 5 additional days.
- If they cannot quarantine, then you must follow strict high-quality mask usage for 10 days.
- If they develop symptoms, stay home, isolate and test.
- Test on day 5, if possible.
It is very important to recognize that while the CDC has shortened the duration of time asymptomatic people must remain at home when exposed to or diagnosed with COVID, the requirement for strict mask usage, even with those in your own home, after 5 days is very important to prevent spread to others. At any point if your child develops symptoms, they should stay home, isolate and test.
Some patients will still be infectious after the initial 5 days of isolation. If your child is asymptomatic and you are considering a shortened isolation period, we recommend you take rapid antigen test on day 5, if available, to help reduce the risk to others. If your child’s rapid antigen test is positive you need to extend their isolation period as this correlates with a viral level that is infectious. If your child’s rapid antigen test is negative on day 5, they still need to wear a high-quality mask for 5 additional days. As long as our test supply allows, we are available to do this testing during our regular office hours if you do not have an over-the-counter rapid antigen test available to you.
Both Pediatric Associates of Dallas and PAD Plano have seen a very large increase in cases this week. If you or your child are feeling ill, our advice is to stay home and isolate and test yourselves. If you have additional questions please contact your pediatrician!