CDC lowers COVID-19 isolation and quarantine period to 5 days

CDC lowers Covid-19 isolation and quarantine period to 5 days
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 6:25 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The new isolation and quarantine recommendations from the CDC could bring temporary relief to employers who were already facing workforce shortages.

Sanford’s Dr. Susan Hoover says the CDC lowered the isolation period for healthcare workers last week due to strong evidence that most COVID-19 cases are transmissible only a few days before and after symptoms begin.

”Even before the recommendation for the general public came out yesterday, CDC had recommended that for healthcare workers, we could look at shorter times for the same reason,” said Dr. Hoover.

Dr. Hoover believes this change in recommendation might result in more people following CDC guidelines.

”If you make an easier request--5 days instead of 10--they might be more likely to do it. There are people who say, ‘I don’t have 10 more PTO days from work, but I have three more and there’s a weekend coming up, so that’s not unreasonable,’” said Dr. Hoover.

The shorter isolation and quarantine recommendations will also ease the burden of taking time off if exposed.

”It certainly releases some of the pressure on people, for work, for school, where it’s hard to get 10 or 14 days off. So, I do think this is good news and allows us more freedom to go about our lives while still protecting others,” said Dr. Hoover.

Those who are fully vaccinated have the most flexibility to follow CDC guidelines.

”And they are saying if you’re fully vaccinated, with a booster, that they recommend you wear a mask, but you do not need to stay home and avoid people. Five days is better than 10, but none would be even better,” said Dr. Hoover

The CDC still recommends a mask for the following five days after isolation or quarantine when exposed to or tested positive. The full statement from the CDC can be viewed here.

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