In a statement on Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lowered the time frame for which an individual should be isolated after testing positive for COVID-19.
People with COVID-19 can be released from isolation after five days if they are no longer showing symptoms, according to CDC, cutting the previously suggested 10-day duration in half as the omicron variant causes an increase in infections.
The CDC also added that people with improved symptoms may leave their homes after five days as long as their symptoms improve, while those with a fever should stay at home until the fever goes away.
The agency has also reduced the recommended quarantine period for persons who have been exposed to the virus to five days if they have been vaccinated. According to the CDC, people who have been completely vaccinated and boosted may not need to quarantine at all but should wear a mask for 10 days after exposure.
“Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to five days, if asymptomatic, followed by five days of wearing a mask when around others,” according to a statement from the CDC.
Those who have not been vaccinated or who have been more than six months after their second mRNA dosage and have not yet been boosted should quarantine for five days and should wear masks for another five days, according to the CDC.
If a five-day quarantine isn’t possible, the CDC recommends that persons who have been exposed to the virus wear a mask for the next 10 days.