COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidance extended to K-12 school settings


CONTACT: Wes Stubblefield, M.D., (256) 340-2113

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) advises K-12 school students, faculty and staff to follow updated isolation guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

On the evening of January 4, CDC clarified a question posed by the ADPH and other states that the shortened COVID-19 isolation applied to K-12 schools. ADPH expects CDC to formally update additional guidance for COVID-19 prevention in K-12 schools. ADPH will provide this information when available.

Shorter isolation (for asymptomatic and mildly ill people) for a minimum of five days focuses on the period when a person is most infectious. This is to be followed by continued masking for an additional five days.

With the recommended shorter isolation and quarantine periods, it is critical that people continue to wear well-fitting masks and take additional precautions for five days after leaving isolation or quarantine. In addition, isolation should only end if a person has been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have resolved.

Mask use and layered prevention strategies, such as receiving all recommended vaccination and booster doses, social distancing, screening testing and improved ventilation are key to preventing COVID-19 and decreasing transmission, CDC states.

Children over age 2 and adults are also advised to wear a well-fitting mask when around others at home and in public after five days of quarantine or isolation. If unable to wear a mask around others, continue to isolate for 10 days.

District Medical Officer Dr. Wes Stubblefield said, "As pediatricians, we understand the extreme stress this pandemic is placing on families. Our best medical advice is for parents to vaccinate their age-eligible children in order to protect their children's health and keep kids in school.”

Guidance is found at the link below:

For more information on COVID-19, go to



County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

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