The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will no longer require people exposed to the coronavirus to isolate.
The announcement on Thursday came as part of sweeping changes the CDC is making to its Covid-19 guidelines.
The agency said that due to , there was ‘significantly less risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death compared to earlier in the pandemic’.
Instead of quarantining, the CDC now recommends that exposed people wear a ‘high quality mask’ for 10 days.
Officials also recommend getting tested five days after an initial exposure.
‘We’re in a stronger place today as a nation, with more tools – like vaccination, boosters and treatments – to protect ourselves, and our communities, from severe illness from Covid-19,’ said Greta Massetti, the CDC’s chief of field epidemiology and prevention.
‘We also have a better understanding of how to protect people from being exposed to the virus, like wearing high-quality masks, testing, and improved ventilation.’
Massetti acknowledged that the pandemic is not over, but said that the new guidelines will ‘help us move to a point where Covid-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives’.
Additionally, the CDC is now recommending those who test positive for Covid-19 isolate for only five days.
‘You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days. Wear a high-quality mask when you must be around others at home and in public,’ the agency stated.
If fever and other symptoms subside, the CDC now says an individual can end isolation after the fifth day.
Wearing a high quality mask around others is still recommended, as well as avoiding any immunocompromised individuals or other at-risk groups.
The agency also emphasized the importance of staying up-to-date with coronavirus vaccinations.
‘Protection provided by the current vaccine against symptomatic infection and transmission is less than that against severe disease and diminishes over time, especially against the currently circulating variants,’ the CDC said.
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