AGGIES CARE: N.C. A&T Protocols

As of March 1, 2024, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Covid isolation protocol now matches public health advice for flu and other respiratory illnesses: Stay home when you’re sick, but return to school or work once you’re feeling better and you’ve been without a fever for 24 hours.

Stay home and away from others (including people you live with who are not sick) if you have viral symptoms that may include but are not limited to chest discomfort, chills, cough, decrease in appetite, diarrhea, fatigue (tiredness), fever or feeling feverish, headache, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, vomiting, weakness, wheezing. You can go back to your normal activities when, for at least 24 hours, both are true:

  • Your symptoms are getting better overall, and
  • You have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication).

  • When you go back to your normal activities, take added precaution over the next 5 days, such as taking additional steps for cleaner air, hygiene, masks, physical distancing, and/or testing when you will be around other people indoors.
    • Keep in mind that you may still be able to spread the virus that made you sick, even if you are feeling better. You are likely to be less contagious at this time, depending on factors like how long you were sick or how sick you were.
    • If you develop a fever or you start to feel worse after you have gone back to normal activities, stay home and away from others again until, for at least 24 hours, both are true: your symptoms are improving overall, and you have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication). Then take added precaution for the next 5 days.

When, for at least 24 hours, your symptoms are getting better overall and you have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication), you are typically less contagious, but it still takes more time for your body to fully get rid of the virus. During this time, you may still be able to spread the virus to others. Taking precautions for the next 5 days can help reduce this risk. After this 5-day period, you are typically much less likely to be contagious. However, some people, especially people with weakened immune systems, can continue to spread the virus for a longer period of time. For COVID-19, taking a rapid antigen test can help you know how likely you are to spread the virus. A positive test tends to mean it is more likely that you can spread the virus to others.

Though the isolation guidelines have been wiped away, the CDC still encourages people to play it safe for five days after they are feeling better. That includes masking around vulnerable people and opening windows to improve the flow of fresh air indoors. People at higher risk for severe Covid complications, such as the elderly, people with weak immune systems and pregnant women, may need to take additional precautions.

CDC’s main tips for reducing Covid spread:

  • Get the Covid vaccine whenever it is available. 95% of people who were hospitalized with Covid this past winter had not received the latest vaccine. Vaccines for Covid and Flu are available at the Student Health Center Pharmacy.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes, and wash hands frequently.
  • Increase ventilation by opening windows, using air purifiers and gathering outside when possible.

For further information go to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention website and search the Covid-19 section. CDC updates and simplifies respiratory virus recommendations | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC

Things to consider…

  • This guidance doesn't apply to healthcare personnel or healthcare settings
  • Everyone has the right to wear a mask if they decide it would be in their best interest
  • Those 65 and older are advised to get an additional COVID-19 vaccine during the Spring of 2024
  • Advise to stay home if they are sick
  • Consider providing employees with paid time off and develop flexible leave and telework policies to support workers to stay home if sick or to care for sick family members.