COVID isolation period is now 5 days for asymptomatic people
TUESDAY, December 28, 2021 – People who test positive for COVID-19 or who are exposed to the virus but have no symptoms will no longer have to self-isolate or quarantine for such a long period, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. said Monday.
Instead of 10 days, the isolation and quarantine periods in such cases are now five days, followed by five days of wearing a mask around others, the agency recommended in updated guidelines.
The move comes as disruptions to daily life have skyrocketed as the highly transmissible variant Omicron begins to spread across the country. Staff shortages linked to the viruses have wreaked havoc on vacation travel, leading to the cancellation of thousands of flights and disrupting the normal functioning of the healthcare, restaurant and retail industry.
Still, the CDC pointed out that the change was driven by science showing that the majority of COVID-19 transmission occurs one to two days before symptoms surface and two to three days after symptoms start.
“The Omicron variant is spreading rapidly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society. The 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, âsaid CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, in a press release. âThese updates ensure that people can safely continue with their daily lives. “
According to the new recommendations, people who test positive for the virus must self-isolate for five days. If they are asymptomatic at that time, they can be released from isolation if they continue to mask themselves for five days to minimize the risk of infecting others, the agency said.
The CDC has also updated the recommended quarantine period for people exposed to COVID-19.
Recommendations vary for those who have received a booster versus those who are not vaccinated. People who have received their booster do not need to self-quarantine but must wear a mask for 10 days after exposure.
People who are not vaccinated or for whom more than six months have passed since receiving their second dose of mRNA or more than two months after their dose of Johnson & Johnson and have not received booster should quarantine for five days, followed by strict mask use for an additional five days, the CDC said.
If this is not possible, they should wear a properly fitted mask at all times when in close proximity to other people for 10 days after exposure.
“Prevention is our best option: to get vaccinated, to be boosted, to wear a mask in indoor public places in areas of high and high community transmission, and to get tested before assembling,” said Walensky.
The best practice would be to take a COVID-19 test five days after exposure, the CDC added.
Having symptoms of COVID-19 changes advice. If symptoms do appear, individuals should immediately self-quarantine until a negative test confirms the symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19, the CDC said.
New data from South Africa and the UK have shown that the vaccine’s efficacy against infection for two doses of an mRNA vaccine is around 35%. A booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine restores that effectiveness to about 75%, the CDC noted.
The agency strongly encourages vaccination for all people 5 years of age and older and booster shots for all people 16 years of age and older, as vaccination significantly reduces the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID- 19. Yet only 62% of eligible Americans are fully immunized and only 32% have received boosters, CDC Data shows.
The World Health Organization has more on COVID-19[female[feminine.
SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, press release, December 27, 2021
Cara Murez and Robin Foster
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