CDC Announces New Quarantine Guidelines

Daniel Prince

Omicron cases continue to rise; those with booster shots don't have to quarantine but must wear masks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidelines for COVID-19 isolation and quarantine time as the number of omicron variant cases continues to rise across the nation, threatening major staff shortages in all types of businesses. The move also comes in the midst of growing evidence that those with COVID are most contagious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop. The CDC offers the guidelines as recommendations to employers and state and local officials.

For those who test positive, they should go into isolation for five days, starting from the day they test positive. After five days, if they have no symptoms, they can return to normal activities but must wear a mask everywhere, even at home around others, for at least five more days. If symptoms persist after five days, stay home until the symptoms end and then start the five days of mask-wearing.

For those deemed close contacts of those infected, from the day of being alerted of being in close contact, they should quarantine for five days, and then wear masks in all settings for five days afterward.

Those who have received a COVID booster shot are the only ones exempt from the quarantine guidelines, and only if they wear masks in all settings for at least 10 days. By shortening the isolation and quarantine periods, there is still risk of some people still being contagious, which is why the mask-wearing guideline is important.

New COVID data will be released Wednesday, as DHEC’s offices have been closed for the Christmas holiday. They will have six days’ worth of data to report then. Over the previous two weeks of reports, Union County has seen a total of 44 confirmed and 38 probable cases. 31 confirmed and 22 probable cases were reported last week. 1 death was reported last week.

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