Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More information is available here.
Travel requirements to enter the United States are changing, starting November 8, 2021. More information is available here.

For People Living in Prisons and Jails

For People Living in Prisons and Jails

Protect yourself from getting sick with COVID-19.

This resource contains recommendations for people living in prisons and jails. CDC acknowledges it may be difficult to maintain physical distancing and avoid crowds in these settings.

Living in prisons and jails puts you at higher risk for getting COVID-19 because
  • There may not be enough space to keep people with COVID-19 away from others.
  • You may be sharing space with someone who has the virus and does not know it, because they do not show symptoms.
  • Staff or visitors may have the virus and not know it.

About COVID-19

  • Many people who have COVID-19 do not feel sick.
  • People who feel sick may experience signs and symptoms that include:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or having a hard time breathing
    • Feeling tired
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion (stuffy) or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

How COVID-19 Spreads

  • When a person with COVID-19 breathes, coughs, sneezes, talks, or sings and droplets from their nose or mouth fall on a healthy person, they may spread COVID-19. Keep physical distance and wear a well-fitting mask.
  • COVID-19 may get on your hands if you touch things. Wash your hands often.

People at Risk For COVID-19

  • Anyone can get infected.
  • If you have any of the health issues below, you are more likely to get severe COVID-19. It is very important to protect yourself, including and staying up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines.
    • Cancer
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • Chronic liver disease
    • Chronic lung diseases
    • Dementia or other neurological conditions
    • Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
    • Down syndrome
    • Heart problems
    • HIV infection
    • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
    • Mental health conditions
    • Overweight and obesity
    • Pregnancy
    • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
    • Smoking (current or former)
    • Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
    • Stroke or cerebrovascular disease
    • Substance use disorders
    • Tuberculosis
  • You are also more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19 if you are

Protect Yourself and Others

  • Get vaccinated and stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines can help keep you from getting sick, being hospitalized, or dying from COVID-19.
  • Avoid crowds and try to physically distance yourself as much as possible, including during these activities:
    • Recreation, especially when inside
    • Mealtime (if in a dining area with people from other units)
    • Walking in hallways
  • Wear a well-fitting mask that covers your nose and mouth, especially when around staff or people from a different housing unit.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not immediately available.
    • After touching your mask
    • Before touching your face
    • After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
    • After using the bathroom
    • Before eating
    • Before and after making food
    • Before taking medicine

Common Spaces

  • Go outside for your recreation time if you can.
  • Sleep head to foot if there is more than one bed in a room.


  • If visitors are allowed, your visitors may be screened for COVID-19 and asked to wear a mask.
  • Your visitors may not be able to enter the building if they do not clear the screening process (for example, a temperature check), or if they decline to be screened.

If You Were Near Someone with COVID-19

  • You may be tested for the virus even if you do not feel sick.
  • You may be sent to an area away from others. This is called quarantine.
    • Quarantine separates people who were exposed to COVID-19 in case they become sick.
    • This room may be a single cell or a large area with others.
    • Quarantine helps prevent you from getting or spreading the virus to others.

What to Do if You Feel Sick

  • Tell a correctional officer or other staff member if you feel sick so you can get medical care.
  • You may be sent to an area by yourself. This is called medical isolation.
    • Medical isolation separates people who may have COVID-19 from people who are not sick. This is so you don’t get others sick.
    • This room may be a single cell or a large area with others who are also sick.
    • Medical isolation is not to punish you.
  • You may be tested for COVID-19.
    • If your test is positive, showing you have COVID-19, you will need to stay in medical isolation for at least 10 days.
    • If your test is negative, but you were near someone with COVID-19, you may be assigned to a quarantine area in case you develop COVID-19.
      • A negative test result means that you probably did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing or that it was too early in your infection to test positive.
      • You may be tested again to make sure you are not infected.