For now, COVID-19 therapies aren’t meant for the vast majority of people who might test positive. They’re targeted to people with underlying health conditions, who might not have as strong an immune response to the vaccines, or the elderly, all of whom are more vulnerable to getting serious enough symptoms that they might need hospitalization.
What we're seeing is that people very often test positive for longer than five days. You have maybe about half of people who are negative by five days, but then the other half are positive out to even 12-14 days. And so I think the way to address that is repeat a test. If you're still positive, really try to stay at home.
The agency has been criticized for its shortened recommended isolation period without asking people to get tested
“Every expert has been calling for shorter isolation times, so it’s a good move, but it’s shortsighted not to apply this more broadly: schools, colleges, sports, Broadway, restaurants, airlines,” said Joseph Allen, an associate professor at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University. “All are facing this same problem with having to isolate people for extended periods without the option to ‘test to return.’”
Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC 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.
An updated guide to testing, quarantining, isolating and returning to work or school, depending on whether you’ve gotten vaccinated fully, partly or not at all, and your own history with COVID.
In general, asymptomatic HCP who have had a higher-risk exposure do not require work restriction if they have received all COVID-19 vaccine doses, including booster dose, as recommended by CDC and do not develop symptoms or test positive for SARS-CoV-2. The duration of protection offered by booster doses of vaccine and their effect on emerging variants are not clear; additional updates will be provided as more information becomes available.
"CDC's new guidance to drop isolation of positives to 5 days without a negative test is reckless," tweeted Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist and chief scientific officer at eMed. "I absolutely don't want to sit next to someone who turned [positive] five days ago and hasn't tested [negative]."
Infectious people need to isolate as long as they are infectious, no longer and no less, and we need more accurate means to make those judgments. Covid is changing right before our eyes. We need to adapt along with it.
But given that many employers rely on the CDC’s guidelines for when workers can return to their jobs after catching COVID, there’s a good chance these new, looser rules are going to result in more infections, which could end up disrupting people’s lives and businesses just as much as requiring infected individuals to test negative or stay home a couple extra days. The CDC’s nonsense justifications don’t make that any less of a frustrating reality.
Once you receive a positive diagnosis, positive cases should “immediately isolate yourself at your home, or other accommodation”...
European governments are relaxing some quarantine requirements to help keep daily life open with new Covid-19 infections surging, while the top U.S. infectious-disease expert suggested health authorities might tighten isolation measures.
After nearly two years of pandemic, figuring out what you’re supposed to do after receiving a positive test result is still tricky, and varying vaccination status among the population makes the questions more complex.
Self-isolation and quarantine help protect the community by preventing exposure to people who have or may have COVID-19.
Without rapid testing, some experts fear new U.S. guidelines may mean infected people leave isolation while still contagious. The C.D.C. director said masking was a better option.
To top it all off, the guidelines themselves are still complicated. We’ll start by laying them out. Then, we’ll explain their limitations, and how you might think about them in your own life.