RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia has changed its quarantine guidelines for those exposed to COVID-19, moving away from federal health recommendations for people who had a confirmed case within the last six months.

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In situations considered “non-high risk,” someone exposed to COVID-19 won’t be recommended to quarantine if they recovered from a positive case within the last six months or if they are up to date on their vaccines, the Virginia Department of Health announced Thursday.

Instead, the VDH suggests they follow isolation rules if they experience any symptoms. The recommendation change applies to the general public, including at K-12 schools and other early education settings.

“Note that this varies slightly from CDC guidance, which defines the post-infection immunity period as 90 days,” Colin Greene, the commissioner of the VDH, said in a statement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend people up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines to quarantine and if someone tested positive using a viral test within the last 90 days, which is half as long as what VDH is now suggesting.

“As COVID continues its progression from an acute pandemic to a more endemic state, we must continually reassess our recommendations to the public and our fellow agencies, considering not only potential disease effects, but also unintended non-clinical consequences of any restrictions,” Greene continued.

Kadezia Finney of Portsmouth fears the new recommendation may put vulnerable Virginians at risk. “I don’t think that’s right, I don’t think that’s cool,” she told WAVY.

She quarantined last year after an exposure and was paid for her time off while Norfolk resident, Cody Whitlock, lost a week of vacation while forced to quarantine after an exposure last year. He told WAVY that at this point in time, “I would test and make sure that I did or did not have it, but that’s the extent I would go.”

Whitlock and Finney both told WAVY that at this point the government should stop putting out quarantine guidance. “To me, you’re just making rules as you go along and I don’t think that’s fair for everybody — everybody’s body is not the same, ” Finney said.

Whitlock told WAVY, “I’d treat it just like any other sickness, if it was the common cold I’d stay home until I felt better.”

Greene pointed to CDC data suggesting that over 75% of children have had a previous infection and possess immunity and rates of immunity for adults, through vaccines or post-infection, “likely exceeds 90%.”

“Out of an abundance of caution, we will retain the 90-day standard for higher-risk situations, including healthcare workers, staff and residents of long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters,” Greene, Virginia’s new chief public health official, added.

The guideline change won’t impact VDH’s case surveillance or case classification process for reporting cases to the CDC, according to Greene. Isolation recommendations for people with an active case or asymptotic positive test were not changed.

You can find the VDH’s isolation and quarantine page here and its COVID-19 dashboard here.