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CDC drops its 5-day COVID isolation guidelines

It is no longer necessary to isolate for five days after testing positive for COVID-19, according to a Friday statement from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The new guidance tells people to stay home if they are sick, but when they are feeling better and have been fever-free for 24 hours, they can return to school or work.

This is the same guidance given for flu and other respiratory illnesses.

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Prior to today’s update, the CDC called for people who test positive for the virus to “stay home for at least five days and isolate from others in your home,” a recommendation that was implemented in late 2021. 

At the start of the pandemic, the agency had recommended a 10-day isolation period for people who tested positive for the virus.

The announcement comes two weeks after reports began circulating that the agency was considering dropping the quarantine recommendation.

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Some states had already relaxed their own guidelines prior to the CDC’s official update.

In both Oregon and California, people with COVID have not had to isolate at all — as long as they have been fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medicines and their other COVID symptoms are improving, according to each state’s health department.

Woman in mask

Dr. Marc Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and a Fox News medical contributor, interviewed Dr. Mandy Cohen, head of the CDC, earlier this month.

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“She told me that they are shifting their focus more toward putting doctors and their patients in charge in general, acknowledging individual differences,” he told Fox News Digital.

Positive COVID test

Siegel said he is in agreement with removing the five-day isolation period.

“The pandemic has been over for several months, and though there was an uptick this winter, with over 20,000 hospitalizations and 1,500 deaths per week at one point, it is now diminishing,” the doctor said.

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