- Department of Public Health
Media Contact for Massachusetts Department of Public Health shortens quarantine period for COVID-19
Ann Scales, Director of Media Relations
Boston — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health today announced new quarantine guidance that shortens the required quarantine period for individuals exposed to COVID-19, effective immediately. In concert with updated quarantine recommendations issued last week by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Massachusetts residents who are required to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19 no longer have to remain home for a full 14 days if they test negative by the seventh day of strict quarantine – or if they remain symptom-free after Day 10, even without having a COVID-19 test.
Under the state’s new guidance, anyone released from quarantine after Day 7 must have either a negative PCR (molecular) or antigen (rapid) test taken on Day 5 or later and be without symptoms. To be released from quarantine after Day 10, the individual must not have experienced any symptoms up to that point; no test is necessary under this option. Under either option, the individual must conduct active monitoring of their symptoms through Day 14 and get tested and isolate if they develop any sign of disease.
A majority of COVID-19 cases have incubation periods fewer than 10 days. During the quarantine period, people must not have visitors in their homes and they cannot have contact with other people who live in their homes.
Quarantine is necessary for individuals who have not tested positive for COVID-19, but who have been a close contact of someone who has tested positive. The 14-day quarantine recommendation remains in place for any person experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms during the quarantine period, even if they have a negative test.
The guidance for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 has not changed, which means they should stay in self-isolation for 10 days.
To avoid the spread of COVID-19, DPH recommends people wear a mask or face covering, stay socially distant from others, wash their hands frequently, avoid crowds and gatherings with those outside of their household, and get tested if they are feeling sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID.