CDPH Update to COVID-19 Isolation Guidance

Last Updated 1/12/2024

CDPH Update to COVID-19 Isolation Guidance

Almost four years into life with COVID-19, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has yet again revised its COVID-19 guidance.  According to the agency, these changes reflect that we are now in the latter stages of the pandemic where we are seeing reduced impacts of the disease due to broad public immunity from both vaccination and natural infection and effective early treatment. Of particular note, the COVID-19 isolation recommendations have now been modified to move away from five days of isolation and instead to focus on clinical symptoms in determining when to end isolation.

The following are some of the latest CDPH recommendations:

Recommendations for people who test positive:

  1. Stay home if you have COVID-19 symptoms, until you have not had a fever for 24 hours without using fever reducing medication AND other COVID-19 symptoms​ are mild and improving.​

    • ​​​​​​​​​If you do not have symptoms, you should follow the recommendations below to reduce exposure to others.

  1. Mask when you are around other people indoors for the 10 days* after you become sick or test positive (if no symptoms). You may remove your mask sooner than 10 days if you have two sequential negative tests at least one day apart. Day 0 is symptom onset date or positive test date.


  1. Avoid contact with people at higher-risk for severe COVID-19 for 10 days*. Higher-risk individuals include the elderly, those who live in congregate care facilities, those who have immunocompromising conditions, and that put them at higher risk for serious illness.

  1. Seek Treatment​. If you have symptoms, particularly if you are at higher risk for severe COVID-19, speak with a healthcare provider as soon as you test positive. You may be eligible for antiviral medicines or other treatments for COVID-19. COVID-19 antiviral medicines work best if taken as soon as possible, and within 5-7 days from when symptoms start.

Recommendation for close contact of cases:

  • If you have new COVID-19 symptoms, you should test and mask right away.

  • If you do not have symptoms and are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection and would benefit from treatment, you should test within 5 days. 

  • If you do not have symptoms and have contact with people who are at higher risk for severe infection, you should mask indoors when around such people for 10 days. Consider testing within 5 days after the last exposure date (Day 0) and before contact with higher-risk people.

Workplace​​ Settings:

In the workplace, employers are subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Non-Emergency Regulations ​ or in some workplaces the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) Standard (PDF) and should consult those regulations for additional applicable requirements. In certain healthcare situations or settings and other covered facilities, services and operations, surgical masks or respirators are required.​ 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations, which remain in effect until next year, have been updated to reflect the changing situation.  Employers have been monitoring and adjusting their workplace situations to account for these changes.  This latest easing of the isolation guidelines should help employers understand how to currently deal with any COVID-19 illnesses that might crop up in the workplace.

Questions? Rosasco Law Group is here to help with any and all of your employment law needs, including making sure your workplace is adhering to the latest COVID-19 regulations.

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