Still testing positive after day 10? How to decide when to end your COVID isolation

Many Americans have wrestled with this dilemma at some point during the pandemic, yet it still seems to come up again and again: When can you stop isolating after a COVID-19 infection? The question is especially vexing if you’re feeling better, but still testing positive on a rapid test.

Even with the arrival of new subvariants, the basic ground rules haven’t changed since omicron first came onto the scene: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says someone can stop isolating after five days if they’re fever-free for 24 hours and are starting to get better — as long as they keep wearing a mask around others for another five days.

Some researchers have criticized these rules pointing to research that shows some people may remain infectious after day five. And many experts advise waiting until you test negative on an at-home test before venturing out.

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