When to End Isolation

Isolation helps to protect the community by preventing exposure to people who have or may have COVID-19. 

The policies below reflect Yale’s guidance for faculty, staff and off-campus graduate and professional students. Separate guidelines are available for undergraduate students living on-campus and off-campus. 

Dependents are encouraged to follow this guidance but may follow their outside school, employer, or CDC isolation guidance. Healthcare workers should follow their specific workplace guidance. (Note that Day 0 = day of postive test). 

Follow these Yale Health guidelines for ending isolation, regardless of your vaccination status:

Your Circumstance When to End Self-Isolation
You tested POSITIVE for COVID-19 and have symptoms

At least 7 days (day 0 = day of positive test) have passed since your positive test,


you have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications,


symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.

Continue to wear a mask at all times for 10 days*. A negative rapid test prior to returning to work is recommended if available, but not required.

You tested NEGATIVE for COVID-19 and have some symptoms

If your provider still suspects that you do have COVID-19, continue to isolate and get retested in 3 or more days from initial test. Otherwise, you can end isolation, and resume normal activities when you have had no fever for at least 24 hours and improvement in other symptoms.

You did not have symptoms but tested positive for COVID-19

At least 7 days (day 0 = day of positive test) have passed from the date of your positive test as long as you remain free of symptoms. 

*Day 0 = day of positive test. 
If you had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, follow the university’s close contact guidance.  Close contact is being within 6 feet, for at least 15 minutes total, with a person who is positive for COVID-19.

Note for healthcare workers: Discontinuation of isolation for healthcare workers may differ and are to be determined by the employer. 

Updated August 12, 2022