CDC lowers COVID-19 isolation time for both infected, exposed individuals

Coronavirus Updates

(ABC4) – The new rule of thumb for those who test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to someone who has been infected with the virus will be five and five, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That’s five days in quarantine, followed by five days wearing a mask.

Additionally, the update to the CDC guidelines, which was given on Monday, emphasized the importance of receiving a vaccination and a booster as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to make its way around the globe, including in the United States.

“The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society. 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,” the CDC’s Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated in a release. “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.”

Regardless of vaccination status, those who test positive for COVID-19 will be asked to stay home for five days and will be able to leave if no symptoms are present at that time. They will be asked to wear a mask around others for the following five days.

In regards to those who are exposed, the guidelines are split between folks who are recently vaccinated or have received a booster and those who aren’t boosted or completely unvaccinated.

Those who are fully and most strongly shielded by inoculation just need to wear a mask around others for a 10-day period and should get a test on the fifth day. If any symptoms develop, they will be asked to receive a test and stay home.

Unvaccinated individuals or those who completed their Pfizer or Moderna six months ago or the Johnson & Johnson two months ago and have not yet been boosted will need to stay home for five days, followed by five days of strict mask-wearing in public. If the five-day isolation isn’t possible, wearing a mask for the entire 10-day period will be a must.

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