CDC Cuts COVID-19 Isolation Recommendation to Five Days

The Centers for Disease Control announced Monday it is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around 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,” says CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “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.”

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, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others.

Additionally, CDC is 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.

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  1. this CDC update is for healthcare workers — to lessen the burden of short staffed departments when caring for those from the community who are hospitalized due to COVID. this information is not for non healthcare workers who can and should isolate for 10 days.

  2. It’s a little confusing to say the least. How about if our superintendent stop catering to the anti vaxer / anti mask crowd and do remote learning for a week in order to shake out all the holiday positives coming down the pike? Nah.. why do the right and controversial thing when you can just skate and feed us pablum that the windows will be fixed and non existent cleaning will help? Maybe a reboot of civics in the HS will help at least those upcoming adults. It seems too late for many Montclairians.

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