Isolation time for those infected with coronavirus in the United States has shortened down to five days and similarly shortened the timeline for close contacts needing to quarantine. 

If asymptomatic, followed by five days of wearing a mask when around others. Officials of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say this guidance is coming from growing evidence indicating virus transmission is at its peak up to two days before and three days after symptoms develop. 

“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,” CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. 

Health officials now recommend quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days for those who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose, or more than 2 months after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and not yet boosted. 

The CDC added if a 5-day quarantine is not feasible, "it is imperative" that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure.

People who are fully vaccinated and boosted may not need to quarantine at all. Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following exposure but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.

“These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives. Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather,” Walensky said. 

Those with improved symptoms may also leave their homes after five days, the CDC said. People who have a fever should stay home until the fever clears up, the CDC added.

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