ON Tuesday January 4, 2022 the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on the isolation period.
The CDC's website states that the difference between isolation and quarantine is based on whether or not you are in fact sick.
What are the CDC's updated isolation guidelines?
CNN reported that the new updates for isolation now include a testing component.
The CDC shortened its original 10 day isolation period to just five days at the end of December 2021.
Now, in January 2022 the CDC's isolation advice states the following:
"Everyone who has presumed or confirmed COVID-19 should stay home and isolate from other people for at least 5 full days (day 0 is the first day of symptoms or the date of the day of the positive viral test for asymptomatic persons).
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"They should wear a mask when around others at home and in public for an additional 5 days.
"People who are confirmed to have COVID-19 or are showing symptoms of COVID-19 need to isolate regardless of their vaccination status," the CDC website states.
The CDC's page explains who the isolation period applies to:
"People who have a positive viral test for COVID-19, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms.
"People with symptoms of COVID-19, including people who are awaiting test results or have not been tested.
"People with symptoms should isolate even if they do not know if they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19."
What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
At the very top of the CDC's Quarantine and Isolation page they are clear about the distinction between the two.
"You quarantine when you might have been exposed to the virus and may or may not have been infected."
Not to be confused with an isolation period, which is defined differently.
"You isolate when you are sick or when you have been infected with the virus, even if you don’t have symptoms."
When is it safe to end the isolation period?
As of January 4, 2022 the CDC's official website states that those who have been sick with Covid-19 and had symptoms can leave the isolation period after five full days.
"To calculate your 5-day isolation period, day 0 is your first day of symptoms. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed."
The full list of instructions to properly exit the isolation period can be found on the CDC's website.
Vaccine effectiveness & Omicron
Expert studies have shown that the risk of severe illness from Covid-19 is reduced by 90 percent or more among people who are fully vaccinated.
While there are breakthrough cases of Covid among people who are vaccinated, they are rare.
In the event of a breakthrough case, victims are highly unlikely to be hospitalized with severe or deadly symptoms from the virus.
Health officials have advised that the Omicron variant is more infectious and could lead to further breakthrough cases.
Yet the spread can be offset by all vaccinated Americans receiving a booster shot.
Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant.
With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.
Studies have also shown that side effects from the vaccine are extremely rare.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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