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CDC shortens isolation time based on COVID symptoms, omicron variant

What to know about the CDC’s new guidelines for isolation

Hospital workers process COVID-19 tests during the omicron variant wave.
Hospital workers process COVID-19 tests at a hospital in Aiea, Hawaii, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced new guidelines for isolation after COVID-19 infection based on your COVID-19 symptoms.
Caleb Jones, Associated Press

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced new guidelines for isolation after COVID-19 infection based on your COVID-19 symptoms.

The new guidelines include:

  • People should isolate for five days after they tested positive for COVID-19 without symptoms.
  • People should wear face masks around others for the next five days.
  • Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms can leave their home after five days if their symptoms improve.
  • People with a fever should stay inside until the fever clears.
  • Vaccinated people exposed to COVID-19 can isolate for five days.
  • Fully vaccinated and boosted people may not need to quarantine.

Note: The CDC said that the transmission of the coronavirus happens when COVID-19 symptoms begin and about two to three days after.

The CDC said it is making the changes based on the current surge of the omicron variant.

  • “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.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser on the coronavirus, told CNN that the changes were made to help society function.

  • “With the sheer volume of new cases that we are having and that we expect to continue with omicron, one of the things that we want to be careful of is that we don’t have so many people out,” Fauci told CNN.
  • “We want to get people back to the jobs, particularly the essential jobs, to keep society running smoothly,” he added.