CDC issues new guidance, cuts COVID-19 isolation time from 10 to five days
Based on new data, the CDC has issued new guidelines for those who have tested positive for COVID-19, cutting the isolation time for asymptomatic cases in half from ten days to five, as previously recommended.
The new data shows that transmission of the virus “occurs early in the course of illness,” and typically happens one to two days prior to symptoms and two to three days after, the CDC said in a statement.
Therefore, those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have remained asymptomatic can safely return to work, school and other activities outside the home after five days of isolation, and should wear a mask anywhere outside the home for the following five days to avoid the chance of spreading COVID-19 to others.
The announcement comes as the omicron variant has many emergency rooms and hospitals across the country overwhelmed with a surge of COVID-19 patients.
The guidance also updated the CDC’s recommendations for exposed people, saying “unvaccinated people should quarantine for five days, followed by five days of ‘strict mask use.’ Exposed people who are more than six months past their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two months out from a Johnson & Johnson vaccine, should also quarantine for five days.”
As of December 28, 73.1 percent of people in the US had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Only 32.7 percent had received booster shots, which researchers say offers protection against the omicron variant.