CDCR/CCHCS Resolved Cases FAQ

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Infected people have a wide range of symptoms, from mild symptoms to severe illness. A person who recovers from a COVID-19 illness is considered “resolved.” This document covers the definition of a Resolved Case under California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Correctional Health Care Services standards. These standards are based on best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What is a resolved case?

A resolved case is a person who tested positive for COVID-19 but has since recovered. They are moved out of isolation.

How are resolved patients returned to the population?

Higher risk patients who required hospitalization or still had symptoms after 14 days will be held at least 21 days from the onset of symptoms. They must:

  • Have no fever for three days without medication
  • Show an improvement in illness signs.

An infectious disease consultant will check the patient after 21 days. This will continue every seven days until the patient is cleared.

Lower risk patients who had mild or no symptoms will be held at least 14 days from the onset of symptoms. They must:

  • Have no fever beyond Day 11
  • Show improvement in illness signs and symptoms.

They will be checked by a medical provider. If they have a fever after Day 11, isolation will continue. After seven days, they will be evaluated again.

Are resolved patients tested before release from isolation?

Isolation helps contain the virus. CDC analysis shows the virus is significantly less contagious after five days of illness. By the 10th day, coughs and sneezes do not carry enough of the virus to spread it. This is why the isolation periods are critical to preventing the spread and additional testing is not required.

What is the Presumed Immunity Period?

A patient who has been released from isolation and has no symptoms is considered immune for a short time, according to CDC research. This is 90 days from when the symptoms started, or the first positive test result. Studies show that people can test positive up to 3 months later, but not be infectious. These patients are considered safe to move or transfer without testing or quarantine during that time if they have no symptoms.

How can we protect ourselves?

You are given multiple face coverings and are encouraged to maintain social distancing. These steps, combined with frequent hand washing will reduce the spread of COVID-19. These same measures apply to patients who have been released from isolation.

Is it safe to house a Resolved patient with one who has tested negative? Also, is it safe for a Resolved patient to work in the general population?

Yes. Resolved patients have met the criteria that they are not capable of spreading the virus. Combined with statewide rules requiring face coverings for the population and staff, there is no risk of further transmission for the 90-day immunity period.

I have more questions about COVID-19 policies

Inmates can also fill out a 7362 to see a medical provider if they have questions, or visit the institution’s library to find the latest directives.