The Hawai‘i Department of Health, or DOH, is revising the state’s COVID-19 isolation and quarantine policies to closely align with recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
These changes are effective Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, for all DOH-directed isolation and quarantine.
“We are adopting the CDC recommendations as one part of effort our to blunt the current very rapid spread of the Omicron variant. These guidelines are practical to implement, making it easier for people to do the right thing. The guidance also acknowledges the waning immunity we are seeing with time after initial vaccination,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble. “There is still much we do not know about transmission dynamics of the Omicron variant. We will continue to follow the science. We should all anticipate that guidance may continue to evolve in the coming weeks as we learn more.”
If COVID-19 positive regardless of vaccination status:
Isolate for at least five days and until symptoms are gone.
Continue to wear a mask for five days after isolation.
For those boosted, or fully vaccinated within past six months (or within past two months if J&J), individuals don’t need to quarantine. However, CDC advises wearing a mask for 10 days and getting testing on day five.
For those neither boosted nor fully vaccinated, CDC advises quarantining for five days, wearing a mask for five days after quarantine and getting tested on day five.
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, even mild symptoms, should stay home from work, school and other activities. Those with symptoms who have not been tested should be tested as soon as possible.
“The new policies underscore the benefits of booster shots. People who are boosted and do not have symptoms will not need to quarantine after exposure to someone who is COVID positive,” said Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char, FACEP. “Mask wearing is a key part of the updated guidance. We know how important masks are in reducing the spread of COVID-19.”
While the revised guidance is effective Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, it will take some time to update printed and online material.
Vaccination and testing options are available at hawaiicovid19.com.