CDC shortens recommended quarantine period for COVID-19

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The CDC made the announcement shortly after the World Health Organization (WHO) classified the omicron variant, or B.1.1.529, as a Variant of Concern. (Getty Images)

(ABC4) – The CDC has updated and shortened the recommended isolation and quarantine period for people with COVID-19.

The recommended time for isolation has changed from 10 days for people with COVID to five days, if asymptomatic. People who test positive should isolate for five days and when they leave isolation, continue to wear a mask for five more days.

The change has been motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early during sickness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to the onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.

The CDC is also updating the recommended quarantine period for those exposed to COVID. For those who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose, and have not yet been posted, the CDC recommends quarantine for five days followed by strict mask use for an additional five days.

If a person is unable to quarantine for five days, the CDC says it is imperative that an exposed person wears a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after the exposure.

Those who have received a booster shot do not need to quarantine following exposure, but should also wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.

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