The CDC Just Cut COVID-19 Quarantine & Isolation Times Based On The Omicron Variant

The recommended quarantine time is now less than a week!

The CDC Just Cut COVID-19 Quarantine & Isolation Times Based On The Omicron Variant
Global Staff Writer

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just shortened the recommended isolation period for some people who test positive for COVID-19, as more information comes in about the new Omicron variant.

People in the U.S. who are asymptomatic are now being told to self-isolate for five days instead of the previous 10-day period, the CDC said in a news release on Monday.

After the five days of isolation, the person should wear a mask when around others for another five days, the CDC said.

"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 5 days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others."

The CDC also updated the quarantine protocol for people exposed to COVID-19. The updated recommendation applies to people who are unvaccinated or who had their second vaccine dose over six months ago without a booster afterward.

The CDC says these people should quarantine for five days after a COVID-19 exposure followed by another five days of "strict" mask wearing. They should also immediately get tested if they experience symptoms and quarantine until they get a negative test result.

Those who are vaccinated and have received a booster are not required to quarantine after exposure. However, they should still wear a mask around people for 10 days after the exposure and get tested on the fifth day, the CDC said. They are only required to quarantine while they await negative test results if they develop symptoms at any point.

"These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in the news release.

"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."

The news release also explained the latest data on the effectiveness of the booster shot. Two doses of mRNA vaccine appear to currently be 35% effective, while a booster brings protection up to 75%, the CDC said. Vaccines also reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death from the virus.

The CDC has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Sameen Chaudhry
Global Staff Writer
Sameen Chaudhry was a Staff Writer for Narcity’s Global Desk focused on TikTok drama and based in Toronto, Ontario.