HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – It’s not always easy to know the do’s and don’ts when it comes to protecting yourself against COVID-19, so the CDC has stepped in to streamline that process. News 19 spoke to an official with the Alabama Department of Public Health, who said the new system has the potential to be a very helpful tool.

It’s an interactive Quarantine and Isolation Calculator. This comes as many people are getting confused about what they should do if they’re exposed or may show symptoms of COVID-19.

As we learn more about the virus and develop more ways to protect ourselves, like a vaccine, Stubblefield said quarantine and isolation protocols can begin to become more individualized.

“If you’re not up to date, the guidance is different than if you are up to date. If you had COVID in the past 90 days it can be different than if you haven’t,” Stubblefield explained.

That’s where the calculator steps in. A user follows a series of prompts like when they were exposed, how up-to-date on their shots they are and other questions. Then, they’ll receive a customized isolation period depending on the answers they give.

“This tool is for anyone in the general public who is not moderately to severely immunocompromised or people who work in healthcare,” he said.

Stubblefield said for those in healthcare and the immunocompromised, a plan should already be in place with their healthcare provider in case of exposure.

He said having another tool for people to tend to themselves at home is helpful, especially as more reports of the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron spread in communities across the world.

“Most important to remember COVID hasn’t gone away. COVID is still there, it’s just a low activity level right now. We are watching this new variant but we want people to be educated, we want them to be informed, we want them to know what to do when,” Stubblefield said.

To use the calculator, click here.