CDC shortens recommended Covid-19 isolation and quarantine time
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday shortened the recommended times that people should isolate when they've tested positive for Covid-19 from 10 days to five days if they don't have symptoms and if they 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, the CDC said.
People whose symptoms are getting better may also leave their homes after five days so long as their symptoms are improving. People who have a fever should stay home until the fever clears up.
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 and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for five days followed by strict mask use for an additional five days," it said.
People who are vaccinated and boosted are usually off the hook for quarantine, CDC said. Dr. Anthony Fauci said the changes were aimed, in part, at keeping society running smoothly. Boosters greatly lower the risk that someone will get infected and pass the virus to someone else. Everyone who can get a vaccine, should get one, the CDC stressed.
Last week, the CDC updated its guidance for health care workers with Covid-19 who show no symptoms or have mild symptoms, saying they can return to work after seven days if they test negative for infection at that point.
Previously, people who were exposed to Covid-19 but who had not tested positive were advised to quarantine for 14 days, and people who tested positive for Covid-19 were advised to isolate for 10 full days.