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Why some omicron variant symptoms mean you’re contagious

Omicron variant symptoms might mean you’re contagious

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An illustration of the omicron variant.

Omicron variant symptoms might mean you’re contagious.

Photo illustration by Alex Cochran, Deseret News

Showing symptoms from the coronavirus — as well as its variants like omicron — are a sign that your transmission potential is high, according to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Walensky recently spoke with NPR about the recent CDC guideline changes, which allow people to isolate for five days after COVID-19 infection instead of 10 days.

  • She said that COVID-19 symptoms are a sign that people are contagious.
  • Walensky said that “in the one to two days prior to the onset of symptoms and then in the two to three days after the prior onset of symptoms is really when the vast majority of transmission occurs. So in that five-day window is really where most of that transmission is happening.”

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines that suggest people should isolate for five days after they test positive COVID-19 without symptoms.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser on the coronavirus, told CNN that the changes were made to keep people working.

  • “We want to get people back to the jobs, particularly the essential jobs, to keep society running smoothly,” he added.