COVID-19 Guidance Simplified, Aligned with Most Respiratory Illnesses

CGI image depicting the COVID-19 virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on March 1 released revised guidelines related to COVID-19. The new guidance aligns with existing guidance for preventing the spread of other respiratory illnesses such as flu, RSV, and other common respiratory illnesses. The best ways to avoid getting sick remain the same: Stay healthy, get the recommended vaccinations, ventilate indoor areas, and wear a mask if highly susceptible to serious illness.  

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are advised to follow the same recommendations that are in place for other common respiratory illnesses: Stay home when sick until fever free for 24 hours and symptoms are improving. For five days after, use additional prevention strategies, like leaving distance or wearing a mask around others, and testing before visiting people who are at high risk for severe illness.

"These revisions are based on everything we have learned about COVID-19 in the last four years and all the tools we’ve developed to manage the virus,” said Dr. Raynard Washington, Mecklenburg County Public Health director. “It boils it down to what we know works to not get sick in the first place, and what we know works to protect others from getting sick.”

It is important to note that the updated guidance is intended for community settings. There are no changes to respiratory virus guidance for healthcare settings, including Mecklenburg County Public Health clinics. The CDC offers separate, specific guidance for healthcare settings for COVID-19, flu, and general infection prevention and control.

Visit Mecklenburg County’s COVID-19 Resources and Updates page for current information and data, and see all respiratory illness guidance on the CDC’s website.