CDC Shortens Recommended Quarantine Period

Source: Freepik

The CDC recommends that asymptomatic COVID positive people, or those with cleared symptoms, quarantine for five days instead of ten.

Since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidelines addressing public health concerns. From mask guidance to COVID-19 booster shots, the regulatory body has constantly updated its recommendations to decrease the surge of cases in the country. However, public health experts have often criticized their moves for lacking any supportive evidence. In another controversial move, the CDC has now shortened the quarantine period for asymptomatic COVID-19 cases and those exposed to COVID-19.

In a recent press release, the CDC shortened the quarantine period from ten days to five days for asymptomatic COVID-positive people. This also applies to those whose symptoms have cleared up, being fever free for 24 hours. Moreover, the quarantine period should be followed by five days of wearing a mask around people and even at home. Thus, ensuring minimal spread to 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.

Dr Rochelle Walensky, CDC director 

Additionally, the CDC also updated guidelines for people who’ve come in contact with COVID-positive people. In case of exposure, unvaccinated people or those who’ve received two vaccine doses should isolate for five days followed by mask use for the next five days. However, boosted individuals do not need to quarantine, but should wear a mask for 10 days after exposure. Furthermore, the

Experts Raise Concerns

Many health experts are in favour of the new guidelines, stating them as backed by science. Recent reports have shown the now dominant Omicron variant to cause mild symptoms. Furthermore, previous data suggest that one is most contagious 2-3 days after symptoms onset. However, others are not convinced.

Although the Omicron variant is less likely to result in hospitalizations, the heavily mutated virus is extremely contagious and spreads at a faster rate than previous strains. Moreover, people can remain contagious for a variable amount of time. CDC’s new guidance does not recommend one to wait for a negative test prior to ending their isolation. Therefore, many believe the new recommendations are based on economic benefits rather than public health.

Source: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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