CDC Cuts Isolation and Quarantine Period down to 5 Days After Exposure to Covid

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has come up with new guidelines regarding anyone who tests positive for Covid or is exposed to someone with a positive result. In a Press release issued on Monday December 27, 2021, the CDC states that “People with COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter. 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”.

Additionally, CDC is updating the recommended quarantine period for anyone in the general public who is exposed to COVID-19. For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days. Alternatively, if a 5-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure.

Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.  For all those exposed, best practice would also include a test for SARS-CoV-2 at day 5 after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

Data from South Africa and the United Kingdom demonstrate that vaccine effectiveness against infection for two doses of an mRNA vaccine is approximately 35%. A COVID-19 vaccine booster dose restores vaccine effectiveness against infection to 75%. COVID-19 vaccination decreases the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. CDC strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 5 and older and boosters for everyone 16 and older. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our communities.

Here is a Synopsis of these new guidelines:

If you test Positive for Covid 19, (Isolate) Everyone regardless of Vaccination Status must do the following:

  1. Stay at Home
  2. If you have no symptoms, If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
  3. Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  4. If you have a fever, continue to stay home until fever subsides.

If you were exposed to someone with Covid 19 (Quarantine)

  1. If you have been boosted or completed the two doses of Pfizer or Moderna within the last 6 months, or J & J vaccine within the last two months – Wear a mask around others for ten (10) days
  2. Test on Day 5, if possible
  3. If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.

If you are NOT boosted, but completed the two doses of Pfizer or Moderna within the last 6 months or J & J within the last two months or you are UNVACCINATED, then:

  1. Stay home for 5 days. After that, continue to Wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  2. If you cannot quarantine, you must wear a mask for 10 days.
  3. Take a Covid test on Day 5, if possible.
  4. If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.

Source: CDC Newsroom. Read the full Media statement here

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