COVID CDC Update
By MedExpert COVID News Update | Dec 27, 2021
Today the CDC shortened the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with asymptomatic COVID-19 to 5 days. 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. Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for 5 days and, if asymptomatic at that time, CDC reports they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others.
“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,” states CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky. CDC is also updating the recommended quarantine period for those 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.
Isolation relates to behavior after a confirmed infection. Isolation for 5 days followed by wearing a well-fitting mask will minimize the risk of spreading the virus to others. Quarantine refers to the time following exposure to the virus or close contact with someone known to have COVID-19. Both updates come as the Omicron variant continues to spread throughout the U.S. and reflects the current science on when and for how long a person is maximally infectious.
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.
IF YOU TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID – ISOLATE
Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
- Stay home for 5 days.
- If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
- Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.
IF YOU WERE EXPOSED TO SOMEONE WITH COVID – QUARANTINE
Have been boosted
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months
Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months
- Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
- Test on day 5, if possible.
IF YOU DEVELOP SYMPTOMS GET A TEST AND STAY HOME
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine more than 6 months ago and are not boosted
Completed the primary series of J&J more than 2 months ago and are not boosted
- Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days
- If you can’t quarantine, you must wear a mask for 10 days.
- Test on day 5 if possible