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Yes, you should stay home if living with someone who's symptomatic or positive for COVID

The CDC's new guidance states people who are recently vaccinated no longer need to quarantine if exposed, but do stay home if exposure happened in the household.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Direct exposure. Quarantine. Isolation. Fully-vaccinated. Boosted. 

All of these terms factor into what to do after coming in close contact with someone with COVID-19, and the CDC's updated guidance amid Omicron has only further blurred some of the distinction between who needs to quarantine and who doesn't. 


Viewer Brenda reached out, asking, "Vaccine status dictates whether you quarantine? Does that mean if fully-vaccinated and boosted before symptoms develop, no quarantine if you've been exposed?" 

She also asked, "(What if you have) exposure to a person in your house who likely has Omicron, but test results aren't back? Should the non-symptomatic person quarantine (all vaccinations done)?"



The answers to both of Brenda's questions are -- yes. You don't have to quarantine after direct exposure, as long as you are recently fully-vaccinated or boosted and have no symptoms. However, you should quarantine, even if vaccinated and boosted, if someone in your house is positive and/or symptomatic.


Amid the Omicron surge and faster infection period with the variant, the CDC issued new guidance in December for quarantining after COVID-19 exposure.

RELATED: VERIFY: Testing too early can give false negative, 5-7 days after exposure is more accurate

The guidance states if you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, and you are unvaccinated, or your last vaccine was six months ago or longer, you should stay home for five days. Then, continue wearing a mask around others for five days.

The CDC says if you have completed your vaccine series or taken a booster in the last six months, you do not have to quarantine. Instead, wear a mask around others for 10 days, and test on day five. 

The CDC's rules make no mention about what to do if the exposure is within your household, and infectious diseases expert Dr. Cynthia Snider said that factor makes a difference.

"Somebody who has somebody positive in the household has the greatest risk of converting over and getting the infection, even if you're fully-vaccinated... The advice I give is to stay home, and if you have the capacity to quarantine and stay home, you should," Snider advised.

All that said, if at any point, you develop symptoms, test right away and isolate for five days if positive. The CDC's guidance states if you have little to no symptoms after five days, you can leave your house, but continue wearing a mask for five additional days.

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RELATED: Yes, most accurate COVID test results come 3-5 days after exposure

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