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caption: Penny Brown, 2, is held by her mother, Heather Brown, as her nose is lightly swabbed during a test for COVID-19 at a new walk-up testing site at Chief Sealth High School, Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, in Seattle. The child's daycare facility requires testing for the virus. The coronavirus testing site is the fourth now open by the city and is free.
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Penny Brown, 2, is held by her mother, Heather Brown, as her nose is lightly swabbed during a test for COVID-19 at a new walk-up testing site at Chief Sealth High School, Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, in Seattle. The child's daycare facility requires testing for the virus. The coronavirus testing site is the fourth now open by the city and is free.
Credit: (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Washington state shortens recommended Covid isolation period, mirroring CDC guidance

The Washington State Department of Health has updated its Covid quarantine guidance, advising people who test positive for the disease to isolate for just five days instead of the previously recommended 10 days.

The state's new guidance mirrors recommendations put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday, also decreasing the suggested quarantine period to five days.

The state health department recommends that people who test positive for Covid but are asymptomatic by their fifth day of isolating can emerge from quarantine, but still wear masks around others.

People who still exhibit symptoms after five days should remain in isolation until testing negative for Covid, the guidance states.

For people who have been exposed to Covid but haven't tested positive, the state recommends two potential courses of action, based on one's vaccination status:

  • Unvaccinated individuals or people who are more than six months out from their first mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccination series, or who are more than two months past receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and haven't been boosted, should quarantine for five days followed by strict mask use for an additional five days.
  • Vaccinated individuals who have received a booster shot do not need to isolate but should wear a mask for 10 days after exposure, the guidance states.