As Omicron surges, CDC shortens Quarantine to 5 Days

On Monday, the CDC shortened the recommended time for isolation for Americans infected with the coronavirus. The new requirement is 5 days if they are asymptomatic, which is based on new research when people are most infectious.

The omicron variant, which is less severe than the delta variant, nonetheless is highly transmissible and has led to infection levels unseen since last winter. That being said, Airlines and other industry officials had been demanding the CDC to shorten recommended quarantine and isolation times, as the industry leaders claimed that the cancellations this holiday season had to do with employees testing positive and having to quarantine for 10 days. The industry argued that following earlier guidelines would make maintenance of business impossible.

The CDC recommended quarantine for 5 days and then wearing masks around others for 5 days. Those exposed to infection but has received the booster shot, should wear a mask for 10 days; they do not need to quarantine.

The CDC explained that the update is to allow others to continue with their lives and that the decision was driven by scientific research which showed that the transmission occurs in the one to two days before the onset of symptoms and for two to three days afterwards. The officials also recommended getting tested five days after exposure.

As the world begins to realize that it will need to live with the coronavirus rather than exterminate it, policy changes, at least in the U.S., is beginning to reflect this. Maybe it’s more economically motivated than government officials like to admit, however. Whether the change in recommendation leads to what kinds of results is yet to be known.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.

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