March 5, 2024

CDC changes community COVID-19 isolation guidance; does not change guidance for Vanderbilt Health employees, patients or facilities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced new guidelines that can help reduce the spread of a variety of common respiratory viruses, such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19. Those actions include staying at home when sick, staying up to date with vaccines, practicing good hygiene, and improving indoor air quality.

Specifically, the CDC issued updated guidance for people who test positive for COVID-19, making them more consistent with recommendations for other common respiratory viruses and moving away from the five-day isolation period that has been in effect for the past few years.

The updated guidance does not apply to people working in or visiting health care facilities such as Vanderbilt Health, which have more cautious policies in place to prevent the spread of infection in vulnerable persons. Current infection and isolation guidance for Vanderbilt Health employees and patients (both hospitalized and outpatients) remain in effect. The department of Infection Prevention’s website contains current documentation about COVID at VUMC, including policies and procedures.