The Real Reason CDC Experts Just Shortened The Quarantine Time For People Exposed To COVID-19

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recommended a shorter quarantine time for people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the organization has suggested that individuals who have not been vaccinated against the virus stay home for 14 days after they have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19. People who have been vaccinated should only quarantine if they show symptoms of the virus after coming into contact with someone who has the virus, but should still mask up.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, chills, body aches, headache, sore throat, a severe cough, and the loss of appetite and smell. Some people may experience decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and neurological or gastrointestinal problems. If you think you have the virus, you should contact your doctor and follow his or her advice. If you feel as though you may pass out, have confusion, or shortness of breath, contact an urgent care facility immediately, per Harvard Health Publishing.

Symptoms of the virus transfer early

New guidelines cut quarantine time from 10 to five days. The reason behind the change is due to the fact that transmission of the virus occurs early — usually within one to two days before the onset of symptoms and two to three days after, the CDC said in a statement. "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," the statement read.

If you test positive for COVID-19, the CDC recommends staying home for five days and then wearing a mask around others for five days, and testing again on the fifth day regardless of your vaccination status. If you have been exposed to the virus, you should wear a mask around others for 10 days, and test again on the fifth day if you have been vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna shots within the last six months. The same goes for those who have had J&J shots or have been boosted within the past two months.