Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated March 12, 2024

CDC updates guidelines pertaining to respiratory viruses including COVID-19

Recently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated recommendations for how people can protect themselves and their communities from respiratory viruses such as COVID-19. This is in part due to a decrease in hospitalizations and deaths associated with COVID-19 and also due to an increase in knowledge and understanding of how to combat the illness as well as other respiratory illnesses.

The updated guidance changes the previous 5-day isolation period to:

  • Return to normal activities only when for at least 24 hours symptoms are improving overall, and if a fever was present, it has been gone without use of a fever-reducing medication.

    The CDC continues to recommend preventative measures and strategies such as:

  • Staying up to date with vaccination to protect people against serious illness, hospitalization, and death. This includes flu, COVID-19, and RSV if eligible.
  • Practicing good hygiene by covering coughs and sneezes, washing or sanitizing hands often, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.
  • Taking steps for cleaner air, such as bringing in more fresh outside air, purifying indoor air, or gathering outdoors. 
  • Test for respiratory illness when sick, especially to protect those most at risk for severe illness including those over 65 and people with weakened immune systems.

In terms of tackling the spread of respiratory viruses, the CDC recommends:

  • To stay home and away from others when sick with a respiratory virus
  • Use available treatments to lessen symptoms and lower the risk of severe illness.
  • For the 5 days after illness, continue to take steps for cleaner air, enhanced hygiene practices, wear a well-fitting mask, and keep a distance from others.

Information above was extracted from the CDC Press Release on March 1st, 2024.

Please visit for additional resources and guidance.

The Montclair Health Department continues to work closely with the New Jersey Department of Health, CDC and local health partners to monitor the situation and provide updates accordingly.

  • Click the link below and scroll to the bottom of the page to hear Dr. Stanley H Weiss, a physician, epidemiologist, and professor in the Department of Medicine at Rutgers New Jersey medical school, answer 12 of the most commonly-asked questions about COVID and flu vaccination this 2023 fall season.

Jersey Kicks COVID and Flu: Most Asked Q&A with Dr. Stanley H. Weiss

Have any general COVID-19 questions? Call the NJ Department of Health 24 hour public hotline: 1-800-962-1253 

For more information, visit the NJ Department of Health's website or the CDC's website.