CDC updates Covid-19 isolation and quarantine guidelines

Photo: Thomas Kienzle / AFP (Getty Images)

Citing increased scientific knowledge of Covid-19 and the raging omicron variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have revised isolation and quarantine guidelines for people who test positive for the virus and those who are in contact with someone whose confirmed to be infected.

in a Announcement on Monday, the CDC cut the recommended time of isolation for people with Covid-19 from 10 days to five days if they are asymptomatic at the time. Nevertheless, individuals must still wear a mask for the five days after their isolation period ends when they are around others to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

“The change is motivated by science showing that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the disease course, usually in the 1-2 days prior to the onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after” the CDC said. . “Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for 5 days and, if they are asymptomatic at the time, they can leave the isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others.”

The health service has also made changes to the recommended quarantine period for people exposed to Covid-19. Although they are often used interchangeably, “isolation” and “quarantine” have important differences. if explained The GGD isolates you when you are infected with covid-19, even if you have no symptoms. Meanwhile, you will be quarantined when you have been exposed to the virus or have been in close contact with someone known to have Covid-19 but do not know if you are infected.

For people exposed to Covid-19, the CDC offered a set of new guidelines. It can be summarized as follows:

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  • Those who have not been vaccinated or who received their second mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) more than six months ago and did not receive a booster shot will have to quarantine for five days and wear a mask for another five days.
  • Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago and did not receive a booster shot will have to quarantine for five days and wear a mask for another five days.
  • Those who have received a booster shot are not required to quarantine, but must wear a mask for 10 days after exposure.

The CDC said that if a five-day quarantine was not feasible, exposed individuals should wear a mask for 10 days. In addition, the health service urged all those exposed to undergo a Covid-19 test five days after they were exposed. Should they develop symptoms, the CDC recommends that they be “immediately quarantined until a negative test confirms the symptoms are not due to COVID-19.”

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky in a statement acknowledged the rapid spread of the omicron variant, affirming that it “has the potential to affect 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 offered by vaccination and booster doses,” Walensky said. “These updates ensure that people can continue their daily lives safely.”

Walensky added that prevention is the best response to the virus and encouraged the public to get vaccinated, get a booster shot and wear a mask in indoor public settings if they live in areas with significant and high community transmission. She also advised people to take a covid-19 test before getting together, something that can be difficult currently due to the holiday season, which means there is a high demand for home testing and testing in clinics.

If you’re anything like me, that’s quite a bit of guidance to keep in mind at all times. It’s complicated, but so is the coronavirus. The key will be to pass on the new guidance in a way that everyone can easily remember or understand. Until then I will bookmark this article and the CDC’s announcement.

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