Pac-12 to shorten recommended isolation time to five days after positive COVID-19 tests

The Pac-12 has shortened its recommended isolation period to five days following a positive COVID-19 test for both vaccinated an unvaccinated individuals, according to updated protocols established by the league's COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee and released on Thursday.

The change reflects the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and follows the ACC and SEC, which made the same move. The Big Ten and Big 12 have not yet made public a decision to shorten their isolation period.

According to the Pac-12's update, which is effective on Friday, asymptomatic individuals can exit isolation after five days, but should continue to wear a mask around others for an additional five days. Symptomatic individuals have to isolate for at least five days and continue until they are fever-free for 24 hours and symptoms have improved. They can then exit isolation, but should continue to wear a mask for at least 10 days following their initial symptoms.

Following isolation, student-athletes can return to athletic activities without a mask if they have one negative PCR test or two negative antigen tests 24 hours apart.

The Pac-12 also states that vaccinated and boosted individuals don't have to quarantine, but should wear a mask for 10 days -- unless they can test out of it. Unvaccinated individuals have to quarantine for five days, followed by five days of masking when around others.

The league stated that its updates are "minimum recommendations," and that each school should continue to follow the federal, state and local regulations, which could be stricter.