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COVID-19 Guidance Updates: March 2024 

On March 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated and simplified its guidelines for respiratory virus precautions. These streamlined recommendations aim to help prevent the spread of illnesses more effectively. Both the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) and Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) have adopted these updated guidelines, which IPS has also implemented.

The key change is that a mandatory five-day isolation period for individuals testing positive for COVID-19 is no longer required. Instead, if an individual tests positive or is experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness, they should follow these steps:

  • Stay home until symptoms are improving overall for at least 24 hours.
  • If a fever was present, remain home until fever-free for over 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications, in addition to overall symptom improvement.

While isolation is no longer mandatory, individuals are still encouraged to take extra precautions for at least five days after the illness starts, including:

  • Wearing a mask
  • Practicing social distancing when possible
  • Avoiding large crowds
  • Following good hygiene practices (covering coughs/sneezes, frequent handwashing)
  • Cleaning frequently touched surfaces
  • Staying up-to-date with vaccinations

These updated guidelines prioritize individual responsibility and aim to minimize disruptions while still mitigating the spread of respiratory viruses within our community.

As a reminder, screening tools for schools and parents are available here: