Updated COVID-19 Guidance

Published on March 08, 2024

Person reading a thermometer.

While COVID-19 remains a threat, today it is far less likely to cause severe illness. We now have widespread immunity and improved tools to prevent and treat the disease. The CDC has simplified its recommendations because the health impacts of COVID-19 now resemble those of other respiratory viral illnesses, including influenza and RSV.

The CDC is using a unified approach to limit the spread of respiratory illnesses. The new updates still encourage everyone to protect themselves from getting sick by staying up to date with routine vaccinations. However, if you are sick, the new guidance recommends you:

  • Stay home if you feel sick - As much as possible, you should stay home and away from others until at least 24 hours after your symptoms are getting better overall (including a fever) and you are no longer using fever-reducing medicines.
  • You can resume normal activities but take prevention measures over the next five days. Make sure to get fresh clean air, practice hygiene such as washing your hands more frequently, wear a well-fitting mask, keep a distance from others, and/or get tested for respiratory viruses. People can choose to use these prevention strategies at any time. Since some people remain contagious beyond the "stay-at-home" period, taking added precautions can lower the chance of spreading respiratory viruses to others.

This guidance is especially important to protect those most at risk for severe illness, including those over 65 and people with weakened immune systems.