On Monday, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced cutting the recommended times that individuals quarantined when they tested positive for Coronavirus from ten days to five days if asymptomatic. Furthermore, the CDC shortened the previously recommended time for individuals to quarantine if they are open to the deadly virus to a similar five days if they received vaccination shots.
Today, @CDCgov released updates to shorten the recommended time for #COVID19 isolation and quarantine. People are maximally infectious 1-2 days before symptom onset & 2-3 days after. This science & protection provided by vaccination & boosters informed the updated recommendation. https://t.co/iU7btjjy4K
— Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH (@CDCDirector) December 27, 2021
The agency clarified that people who received full shots and booster doses might not need to quarantine at all. Similarly, people whose symptoms are getting better may also leave their homes after five days as their symptoms are getting better. It added that people who have a fever should stay home until recovery. Science demonstrates that most COVID-19 transmission occurs in the preliminary course of the disease, usually one to two days before the beginning of symptoms and the two to three days after.
So, individuals who test positive should isolate themselves for five days and, if asymptomatic at that time. But they may leave the isolation if they continue to use face masks for five days to reduce the risk of infecting others. Quarantine refers to when individuals stand back from others if they are open to a disease but not yet testing positive for the Coronavirus or showing symptoms.
Recommendations for Unvaccinated
CDC announced to modify recommendations for people who didn’t receive vaccination shots or over six months out from their second mRNA shot or months after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and still did not receive a booster. Now, CDC recommends quarantine for five days followed by strict face mask use for another five days. On the other hand, if a five-day quarantine is not possible, a person exposed to the virus must wear a well-fitting face mask every time around other people for ten days after exposure.
The agency said that people who received boosters don’t need to quarantine after exposure to people but should wear a face mask for ten days after the exposure. Moreover, best practices for all those exposed to the virus would include a test for COVID-19 at day five after exposure. If symptoms occur, people should instantly isolate until their results get negative to confirm their symptoms are not attributable to the virus.
The health agency further added that boosters efficiently lower the risk of getting infected and transferring the virus to others. The statistics from the United Kingdom and South Africa establish that the effectiveness of the vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 for two doses of an mRNA vaccine is around thirty-five percent. A coronavirus vaccine booster shot restores the efficacy of the vaccine against the virus to about seventy-five percent.
CDC Director on Latest Recommendations on Quarantine and Isolation
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC Director, stated that the most contagious Omicron variant spreads swiftly and can impact all aspects of society. She added that the updated recommendations of CDC for quarantine and isolation balance what the agency knows about the spread of the Coronavirus and the vaccine and booster protection. Therefore, the latest updates from the agency ensure that individuals can safely continue their routine lives. The best option is prevention from the illness: get inoculated, booster shots, and wear face masks in public indoor settings in high and considerable community transmission areas.
The CDC stressed that vaccination decreases the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from Coronavirus. Additionally, the agency strongly encourages Coronavirus vaccination for all Americans five and older and booster shots for everyone sixteen and older. Vaccination is the most practical way to protect against the virus and cut the impact of Coronavirus on the communities. Previously, the CDC updated its guidelines for health care staff with Coronavirus who show no symptoms or have mild symptoms of the virus to say they can resume work after seven days if they test negative for COVID-19 at that stage.
New Omicron Variant Fills up Children’s Hospital in the U.S.
This month, an increase of around five times was observed in pediatric admissions in New York City. It was close to double the figures hospitalized in Washington, DC. On average, countrywide pediatric hospitalizations are up around thirty-five percent in only the last week. The most contagious Omicron strain is teaming up with the busy holiday week to infect more kids all over the U.S. than ever before. So, children’s hospitals are bracing for it to get even worse.
The Texas Children’s Pediatrics and Urgent Care vice president in Houston, Dr. Stanley Spinner, told CNN that they may experience more numbers now than they previously observed. It is because new Coronavirus cases are constantly rising between Christmas gatherings, and they are going to continue to see more cases this week from the situation. Further, he expressed concerns that cases are continuing to rise between the gatherings of Christmas and this week of New Year’s celebrations. So, those numbers will continue to grow.
Coronavirus Finds a New Niche: Children
A physician in chief at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, Dr. Juan Salazar, told CNN that kids are easy coronavirus targets. He estimated that the virus affects more prominent communities, affecting kids badly. Younger unvaccinated, as well as older vaccinated kids, are becoming vaccinated. Parents need to keep an eye on their children and take care to protect them from the virus. In addition, vaccinated siblings and parents can protect unvaccinated and younger kids.