COVID-19 Story Tip: I’ve Recovered: When Can I Come Out of Isolation?

05/19/2020

As more and more people are recovering from COVID-19, they may be unsure when it’s all right to resume trips to the grocery store, pharmacy or other places for essentials without being a risk to others. Johns Hopkins infectious disease specialist Sara Keller, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.H.P., and her colleagues recommend following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance, which says that a person should remain in isolation for the following conditions, whichever is later:

At least 14 days after exposure

At least 10 days after the start of symptoms

At least three days after the last fever if no fever-reducing medications were taken

At least three days after other symptoms resolved, such as cough or shortness of breath

At least three full days after symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath or coughing subside

For anyone with prolonged illness; patients with certain conditions, such as specific kinds of cancer; and people who are immunosuppressed, such as organ transplant recipients, Johns Hopkins physicians recommend retesting to ensure they no longer have the virus before coming out of isolation. They recommend similar retesting for residents of nursing homes or people who are homeless.

Experts recommend that those who have recovered still practice social distancing, wash their hands frequently, and follow their state or local quarantine guidelines.

Keller is available to journalists to discuss how to appropriately emerge from isolation.

For information from Johns Hopkins Medicine about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the coronavirus information page. For information on the coronavirus from throughout the Johns Hopkins enterprise, including the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and The Johns Hopkins University, visit the coronavirus resource center.