People who test positive for COVID-19 only need to self-isolate for five days as long as their symptoms have stopped, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday. The change in isolation guidelines from 10 days to five is based on data showing that people with COVID-19 are most likely to be contagious to others during the few days before and after they start showing symptoms, the agency said in a statement. statement.
After leaving isolation, people must wear masks around others for another five days, the CDC said.
The CDC also said Monday that people who did not receive a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine but received their second dose of an mRNA vaccine six months ago, or who received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine two months ago, received five months in quarantine. days if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19. That’s a change from previous guidelines, which stated that people who have been fully vaccinated should not be quarantined if they are exposed to someone who is sick with the disease.
The changes to isolation guidelines for people sick with COVID-19 come just days after the CDC said health professionals only need to isolate for seven days if they test positive for the virus, as long as they are asymptomatic and test negative on the seventh. day. The UK also shortened the recommended isolation period to seven days, as long as people have negative tests on the sixth and seventh days.
Today’s new guidelines from the CDC for the general public in the United States do not recommend a test at the end of the five-day isolation period.
The highly contagious variant of omicron is driving unprecedented rises in COVID-19 cases, and in many places more people are testing positive for the virus every day than ever before. As a result, the CDC came under pressure from several industries, including airlines, to shorten the isolation period to reduce staff shortages of people who tested positive and missed ten days of work.
Public health experts say a shorter isolation period is supported by research on the virus. However, people really need to be recovered if they want to return to daily activities. “What I don’t want to see this happen is this is used as an excuse to force people to come back when they’re not feeling well,” Megan Ranney, an emergency room physician and associate dean at the School of Public Health told the Brown University, told The New York Times.