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CDC shortens recommended COVID-19 isolation, quarantine time to five days

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CDC shortens recommended COVID-19 isolation, quarantine time to five days

The CDC Roybal Campus. Source: CDC.gov

Atlanta, GA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Monday that it is shortening the recommended time of isolation for people who have COVID-19 from 10 days to five days if they don’t have symptoms. Individuals should also wear a mask while around others for another five days.

“The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after,” a press release states.

Photo courtesy of the CDC.

The CDC additionally updated its guidance regarding quarantining. The quarantine period for those exposed to COVID-19 is now five days, followed by strict mask use for another five days for those who are unvaccinated or have been fully vaccinated for six months and have not received the booster dose.

“Alternatively, if a 5-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure,” the press release states.

Individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after exposure.

For those exposed, best practice still includes testing five days after exposure. If symptoms develop, individuals should immediately quarantine until they test negative for COVID-19.

Photo courtesy of the CDC.

The updates come as the Omicron variant continues to spread throughout the United States and reflects the current science on when and how long a person is most infectious.

“The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “CDC’s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses. These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives. Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather.”

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