The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cut its recommendation on Monday for the length of time for isolations and quarantines of those people who test positive for the coronavirus.
Previously the CDC recommended an isolation period of 10 days for people who tested positive but were asymptomatic, but the new guidance says those people can isolate for only five days if they are vaccinated.
“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,” read a statement from the CDC.
The CDC statement went on to explain why the change was made.
“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,” the CDC said. “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.”
The CDC also said that people who are fully vaccinated and boosted may not need to quarantine at all after being exposed to someone infected with the virus.
“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,” the statement read.
The CDC reiterated its recommendation that everyone who can get vaccinated be vaccinated.
The United States is experiencing another spike in coronavirus infections in recent weeks. The seven-day average of new infections has reached 215,000, a rate just under the previous spike in Jan. 2021 of 230,000 new infections.
Officials say a great percentage of new infections are due to the Omicron variant.
Here’s more about the new guidance from the CDC:
Dr. Vin Gupta says CDC’s shortened quarantine guidance is a ‘good move’