CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released updated quarantine and isolation recommendations. The new information came out Monday and is based on increasing knowledge of COVID-19.
“The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society. CDC’s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses. These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives. Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather,” said CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
It’s important to understand the difference between quarantine and isolation. Isolation is for people who have tested positive for the virus while quarantine is for people who have been exposed to it.
The CDC is now recommending five days for isolation starting on the day of a positive test. If you are asymptomatic after those five days, the isolation period ends, but mask-wearing is recommended for the following five days.
If you have a fever after the initial five-day period, you are asked to continue isolating until the fever breaks.
Quarantine recommendations differ based on vaccination status.
If you’ve been vaccinated or boosted within the last six months for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines or two months for Johnson and Johnson vaccine, mask-wearing is recommended for 10 days with a COVID test on day five.
If you are unvaccinated, or it has been over six months since your last shot, you’re asked to stay home for five days then take a COVID test and wear a mask for the next five.
Dr. Robert Oliverio of Roper St. Francis Healthcare says the new recommendations are based around infectivity.
“Instead of having people out for an entire ten days afterward and not being infectious, why not let people get around a little bit earlier?” said Dr. Oliverio. “It’s two days before you have symptoms and two to three days after you have symptoms, you’re infectious. If we can decrease the length of time that people are really out of commission either out of work or kids at home. These are all things that are really problematic, we can deal with this virus easier.”
For more details on quarantine and isolation recommendations, click here.