DPH commissioner issues update on CDC COVID-19 guidelines

Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., has distributed a letter to physicians in the state to make them “aware of recent changes to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 guidance related to discontinuing isolation and testing after recovery.”

Dr. Toomey stresses that, “Patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection DO NOT need to have two negative tests at least 24 hours apart to return to work, school or receive medical care. CDC has reported that COVID-19 cases can continue to test positive for up to 12 weeks after their initial positive test, but that they are only potentially infectious to others for about 10 days.”

She adds that for “most individuals with COVID-19 illness, isolation can be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of symptoms (changed from ‘improvement in respiratory symptoms’ to address expanding list of symptoms associated with COVID-19).”

And Dr. Toomey notes that, “The decision to discontinue isolation for patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection should be made using a symptom-based strategy, not additional testing.” 

Dr. Toomey letter