Is there a difference between stopping isolation vs. stopping quarantine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines about this may at first seem confusing. These guidelines are:

  • Those who have been infected with COVID-19 should isolate. They may be able to stop isolating once symptoms have improved, and it has been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared. Those who have never had symptoms may be able to stop isolating 10 days after testing.
  • Those who have been possibly exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine. They may be able to stop quarantining if they don’t develop symptoms, and it has been at least 14 days after possible exposure.

This means that it’s possible for a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stop isolation before someone possibly exposed can stop quarantining.