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Hawaiʻi revises isolation and quarantine policies following CDC changes

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The state Department of Health has revised its COVID-19 isolation and quarantine policies to more closely align with new federal recommendations.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has new isolation and quarantine guidelines for COVID-19, and the health department is following suit.

If you test positive for COVID, regardless of vaccination status, rules are to isolate for at least five days and until symptoms are gone — continue to wear a mask for five more days after isolation.

If you have been exposed to someone with COVID but have received a booster shot or have been fully vaccinated within the past six months, there is no need to quarantine. You should wear a mask for 10 days and get tested on the fifth day after exposure.

If you have been exposed to someone with COVID and are neither boosted nor fully vaccinated, quarantine for five days and wear a mask for five days after quarantine. You should get tested on the fifth day after exposure as well.

These changes go into effect on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, for all health department-directed isolation and quarantine.

According to the CDC, isolation refers to what you should do when you suspect or confirm that you have COVID-19 even if you don't have symptoms.

Quarantine refers to staying away from others after being exposed to someone with COVID-19 when you don't know whether you've been infected or not. The current definition of exposure: being in contact with that COVID-stricken person for more than a total of 15 minutes in a single day and at a distance of 6 feet or less.

More information on vaccines and testing can be found at hawaiicovid19.com.

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