Skip to main content

CDC Update: COVID 19 Exposure Guidelines for Unvaccinated People

By Derek Ross, CLMS, HR Consultant, East Coast Risk Management

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced new guidance for unvaccinated Americans that are exposed to COVID 19. Previous, the CDC recommended that anyone who was unvaccinated or who had not received a booster shot should quarantine for five (5) days after being exposed to a known case of COVID-19.

The new guidance, released August 11, 2022, no longer recommends that unvaccinated or unboosted people quarantine following exposure. Rather, they are advised to wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 5. This guidance is similar to the previous recommendations for people that are vaccinated and boosted.

Doctor Greta Massetti of the CDC states “We’re in a stronger place today as a nation, with more tools — like vaccination, boosters, and treatments — to protect ourselves, and our communities, from severe illness from COVID-19,” 

The CDC also updated their guidance regarding using testing to end quarantining for those who had tested positive for COVID 19. It is recommended that those who contracted the virus should test on day 6 if fever free, and again 48 hours later. If both tests result in a negative reading, they can end isolation and do not need to wear a mask around others. The CDC also recommends using an antigen test, rather than a rapid test kit.  Antigen tests are more accurate and do not produce as many false negatives as rapid test kits. If there is no fever for 24 hours without use of a fever-reducing medication by day 5, or if the person was symptom free, isolation can end but masks are still advised for 10 days.

The CDC also recommends ending contact tracing for most companies, with the exception of high-risk group living situations such as hospitals, nursing homes, or prisons. In addition, screening testing of asymptomatic people without known exposures will no longer be recommended in most community settings.

Although the CDC is also moving away from social distancing measures, it is still best practice to wash your hands regularly, and, if you do feel sick, stay home, or wear a well-fitting mask if you must go out in public.


If you are an employer with questions about any safety, workers’ compensation, or human resources issue, contact East Coast Risk Management by calling 724-864-8745 or emailing us at We will be happy to help!

Disclaimer:  The information provided on this web site is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Use of and access to this web site does not create an attorney-client relationship between East Coast Risk Management or our employment attorney and the user or browser.