SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The CDC is shortening the isolation period for COVID-19 from ten days to five days, saying it’s part of the latest on how the Omicron variant is spreading.
“Transmission, especially Omicron occurs within the first couple of days after symptoms develop so by the fifth day or so especially, if you’re vaccinated or boosted the likelihood of your spreading it to somebody else goes way down,” said Dr. Lawton David from the Coastal Health District.
If you test positive, Dr. Davis says the guidelines are pretty straight forward whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated. The CDC says stay home for five days. If after that time you have no symptoms, you can leave your home but you should wear a mask for five more days.
“And that is the same whether you’re vaccinated or unvaccinated or have a booster,” said Dr. Davis.
The guidelines now say if you hare been exposed, but are vaccinated within the guidelines (within six months for Pfizer and Moderna and within two months for Johnson and Johnson) you do not have to stay home unless you have symptoms. If not, mask for ten days and test on day five.
“Strictly adhering to mask wearing for ten days, that’s kind of your quarantine,” said Dr. Davis.
However, if exposed and you got vaccines which may be wearing off wearing off and you are not boosted or you are not vaccinated at all, you are supposed to stay home for five days, test on day five. The guidelines also say if you ‘can’t quarantine’ you must wear a mask for 10 days and test on day 5.
“It’s a defnitely a change and it gets confusing,” said Davis.
It is known that leadership from Delta recently did request the CDC consider revamping the guidelines from the 10 to 5 days because of a shortage of workers which have caused delays and even cancellations of flights.
“I think they’re reacting to science and not just political pressure,” said Dr. Davis. “It allows more people to safely be back out performing duties that you know, we need them to perform.”
Dr. Davis says the medical community is learning new things about COVID all the time.
“Every day, CDC and the World Health Organization and all the other health institutions are out there that are studying this are learning more and you know, don’t be surprised if recommendations don’t change again in a month or six weeks as we learn even more and it may go back the other way,” said Dr. Davis.