When to End Self-Isolation or Quarantine

Self-isolation and quarantine help 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 students living off campus and are more conservative than CDC guidelines. Students residing on campus should review the university’s policy on Isolation Housing for Students. 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 self-isolation if you are fully vaccinated*:

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,

AND

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

AND

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. 

Follow these Yale Health guidelines for ending self-isolation if you are NOT fully vaccinated* or unvaccinated:

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

At least 10 days** (day 0 = day of positive test) have passed since your positive test,

AND

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

AND

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 10 days** have passed from the date of your positive test as long as you remain free of symptoms. 

If you are not sick but were instructed to quarantine, follow these guidelines for ending quarantine:

Your Circumstance When to End Quarantine

You are fully vaccinated* and have returned from domestic travel (within the United States) 

Follow the university’s travel guidelines.

You are fully vaccinated* and have returned from international travel

Follow the university’s travel guidelines.

You are not vaccinated and have returned from domestic (within the United States) or international travel

Follow the university’s travel guidelines.

You had a low risk contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19

No need to self-isolate, continue to monitor your health with daily temperatures.

You had close contact** with someone who tested positive for COVID-19

Follow the university’s contact tracing guidelines. 

*You are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks following your second dose in a 2-dose series, or 2 weeks following your one dose of a single-dose vaccine.

**Day 0 = day of positive test 

***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 self-isolation for healthcare workers may differ and are to be determined by the employer. 

Updated 1/17/22