US cuts covid-19 isolation time

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The recommended times that people should isolate when they tested positive for Covid-19 have been reduced from 10 days to five days by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC said this is only applicable to those that are asymptomatic. The centre also directed that in addition to the five days isolation, they must wear a mask around others for at least five more days.

The CDC also shortened the recommended time for people to quarantine if they are exposed to the virus to a similar five days if they are vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated and boosted may not need to quarantine at all.

“Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to five days, if asymptomatic, followed by five days of wearing a mask when around others,” the CDC said in a statement.

People whose symptoms are getting better may also leave their homes after five days so long as their symptoms are improving, the CDC said. People who have a fever should stay home until the fever clears up, the CDC added.

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

Quarantine refers to the time people stay away from others if they are exposed to a disease but not yet testing positive or showing symptoms.

CDC changed those recommendations, too. “For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than two months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for five days followed by strict mask use for an additional five days,” it said.

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