By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is shortening the recommended isolation period for COVID-positive people.

In its guidance update, the CDC now recommends a quarantine period of five days, down from 10, if asymptomatic and followed by five days of wearing a mask when around others.

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The CDC also said it was loosening its guidance for quarantining after a COVID-19 exposure for unvaccinated Americans or those eligible for a booster who have not yet received their additional shot. It now recommends a five-day quarantine followed by five days of strict mask-wearing. However, the CDC said if quarantine “is not feasible,” it can be skipped as long as they wear a mask in the 10 days after exposure.

The CDC added that people who are fully vaccinated and boosted to not need to quarantine after exposure.

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“The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society. CDC’s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses. These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

The change mirrors a similar move by the CDC announced last week to shorten its isolation guidance for health care workers, amid a surge of Omicron infections that has sidelined staff members in an already-strained health care system.

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In deciding to shorten the recommended isolation period, the CDC said data shows the majority of transmission “occurs early in the course of illness,” within two days before symptoms begin and three days after. Team