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New COVID Quarantine & Mask Guidelines

New isolation and mask guidelines have been issued by the CDC for individuals who are COVID-19 positive, or who have been exposed to the virus. The changes include a shorter quarantine period, and mask guidelines for everyone, including those who are fully vaccinated. Here’s what you need to know.

Why did the guidelines change? 

Omicron is spreading rapidly, putting hundreds of thousands people in isolation due to positive cases or exposure to the virus. This is putting a strain on our healthcare system, small businesses and our economy overall. Some businesses have been without enough people to work, forcing them to close for periods of time. 

In addition, omicron appears to be a much milder variant than previous COVID-19 variants such as delta. As such, most people will experience only minor symptoms, and some no symptoms at all. 

Why do we need to quarantine at all if omicron is so mild? 

While the omicron COVID-19 variant will only produce mild illness for most, it’s important to remember that there are a considerable number of people who remain at high risk for complications from the virus. We must continue to take precautions to protect the elderly, immunocompromised individuals, and people with health conditions that make them susceptible to severe illness. 

Is it risky to come off of quarantine so soon? 

Masks are key. If you are feve free and have only mild symptoms (or no symptoms) after five days, it’s relatively safe to come out of quarantine as long as you continue to take precautions such as masking, washing your hands regularly, etc. Individuals who have not completed a full 10 day quarantine for a positive case, or who have been exposed to COVID-19, should wear a mask (even if vaccinated).  

Visit the CDC for more information about the new COVID quarantine and mask protocols.