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CDC Updates Guidance


Last updated 8/19/2022 at 9:27am

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the coronavirus presents a lower risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death than it did since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. As a result, they have updated its guidance for the virus on August 11.

This updated guidance, however, does not mean that the pandemic is over.

These changes in the CDC guidance comes as public health officials have warned that the U.S. could face a major wave of infection in the fall and winter, as immunity from the vaccines wanes off and people gather indoors to escape the colder weather.

Here are the CDC’s updated guidelines:

- If you’ve tested positive and have a healthy immune system, regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate for five days. Isolation can end at day six if you no longer have symptoms or have not had a fever for 24 hours and your symptoms have improved.

- Once isolation ends, it is recommended to wear a high-quality mask through day 10. If you test negative on two rapid antigen tests, you can stop wearing the mask sooner.

- Until at least day 11, you should refrain from visiting or being around people.

- Those who aren’t vaccinated no longer need to quarantine if they have been exposed to COVID, according to the new guidance. Instead, health officials recommend that these individuals wear a mask for 10 days and get tested on day five.

The CDC also no longer recommends testing people in schools who don’t have COVID symptoms, which means students can now stay in the classroom this fall.

But such screening is still recommended in certain high risk settings such as nursing homes, prisons and homeless shelters.

The CDC said there is a high level of immunity in the population from both the vaccines and infections which means the virus now poses a much lower threat to public health. Greta Massetti, a CDC epidemiologist, said the U.S. has the vaccines and treatments needed to fight the virus. But it remains crucial for everyone to remain up to date on their vaccines, according to the public health agency.

The U.S. is currently reporting more than 107,000 new COVID cases a day on average, according to the CDC. That’s likely a significant under count because many people are now testing at home and results are not reported in official data.

About 6,000 people with COVID are admitted to the hospital a day on average, according to the CDC data. Nearly 400 people are still dying a day on average from the virus.

About 67% of people in the U.S. are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. But only 48% of those who received their first two shots got their recommended booster dose. And just 30% of children ages 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated, according to the data.

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