On Monday, health officials from the Centers for Disease Control recommended a cut in isolation restrictions for Americans who catch the coronavirus from 10 to five days, while also shortening the time that close contacts need to quarantine.
The new guidance published on Monday revealed that the isolation and quarantine guidance for the general public to be even less stringent. Although not a mandate yet, the isolation is to begin from the day a person tests positive for COVID-19 and will go on for the next 5 days. At the end of five days, if you have no symptoms, you can return to normal activities but must wear a mask everywhere — even at home around others — for at least five more days.
If you still have symptoms after isolating for five days, stay home until you feel better and then start your five days of wearing a mask at all times. The above guidance is in keeping with growing evidence that people with the coronavirus are most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop.
As for the quarantine recommendations, the rules are for people who were in close contact with an infected person but not infected themselves. For quarantine, the clock starts the day someone is alerted to they may have been exposed to the virus, and only people who got booster shots can skip quarantine if they wear masks in all settings for at least 10 days.
On the other hand, people who got their initial shots but not boosters are in the same situation as those who are partly vaccinated or are not vaccinated at all: They can stop quarantine after five days if they wear masks in all settings for five days afterward.