Vaccine United

NJDOH Updates COVID-19 Recommendations For Schools and Quarantine Timeframes For Public

By: Follow South Jersey Staff

SOUTH JERSEY – The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) has updated quarantine recommendations for school settings as well as for the general public including shortened quarantine times.

While the guidance continues to recommend the optimal quarantine of 14 days for those who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive, the new revision allows for shortened time frames that end quarantine after day seven with a negative COVID-19 test result collected between five and seven days of quarantine—or after day 10 if testing has not been performed.

The updated recommendations also discontinue the use of regional transmission risk levels to determine quarantine time frames. The revised recommendations do not apply to healthcare settings.

Quarantine helps prevent the spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they have the virus. However, the optimal 14-day exclusion timeframe may pose significant challenges for individuals and decreasing the duration can reduce the burden on individuals and increase compliance. The CDC has determined that these shortened timeframes are acceptable options. The revised NJDOH guidance for schools permits a shortened time frame for student and staff exclusion after exposure. Therefore, during all levels of community transmission and outbreaks, asymptomatic, individuals who are identified as a close contact to someone with COVID-19 may use a reduced exclusion period of 10 days (or 7 days with negative test results collected at 5-7 days) but must continue to monitor for symptoms for 14 days after exposure.

“While a 14-day quarantine period is optimal, the CDC and NJ Department of Health recognizes the value of shortening quarantine in certain circumstances,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said in a press release from the department. “Vaccination continues to provide the best protection against COVID-19, preventing transmission in school, and eliminating the need to quarantine following an exposure. I recommend that all parents talk to their child’s health care provider about the COVID-19 vaccine and urge school personnel to seek vaccination and boosters as soon as possible.”

In the school setting, during times of moderate and high community transmission levels, individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and no known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the last 14 days, regardless of vaccination status, may follow the NJDOH School Exclusion List, a guideline to the amount of time a student should stay out of school due to illness, to determine when they may return to school only if they have an alternative diagnosis such as strep throat, influenza, or allergies supported by an evaluation by a medical provider. 

Testing is still recommended for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms.

To view the full guidance, visit:
To view the updated minimum quarantine timeframes, visit:


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