The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued updated isolation and quarantine guidance for individuals infected with and exposed to COVID-19.

Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, are now recommended to isolate for 5 days, and if asymptomatic at that time, can come out of isolation but continue to wear a mask for 5 more days when around others. The isolation period has been shortened from the previous recommendation of 10 days.

Additionally, the CDC has updated the recommended quarantine period for individuals exposed to someone with COVID-19: 


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  • For individuals who are unvaccinated or are more than 6 months out from their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, or more than 2 months after the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, and not yet boosted, the CDC recommends to quarantine for 5 days after exposure, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others. If a 5-day quarantine is not possible, the individual must wear a mask for 10 days.
  • For individuals who have received a booster dose or completed the primary 2-dose series of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines within the last 6 months, or completed the primary single-dose series of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine within the last 2 months, quarantine is not needed after exposure but are recommended to wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • All individuals should test for SARS-CoV-2 at day 5 following exposure.
  • If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to 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 Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director.

Reference

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC updates and shortens recommended isolation and quarantine period for general population. December 27, 2021. Accessed December 28, 2021.  https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1227-isolation-quarantine-guidance.html

This article originally appeared on MPR