You are not alone. As we transition from pandemic response, to more of our "Pre-Covid-19" duties, we occasionally receive questions about the best ways for community members to continue to protect themselves against Covid-19. Here are some CDC recommendations:
To avoid exposure, wear high-quality masks, utilize testing options (at-home test or through a provider), and take steps to improve ventilation.
"This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives." - Greta Massetti, PhD, MPH, MMWR author.
In support of this update CDC is:
To protect people against serious illness, hospitalization, and death. stay up to date with vaccination.
Instead of quarantining if you were exposed to COVID-19, wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 5.
Regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate from others when you have COVID-19.
You should also isolate if you are sick and suspect that you have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results.
If your results are positive, follow CDC’s full isolation recommendations.
If your results are negative, you can end your isolation.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days. Wear a high-quality mask when you must be around others at home and in public.
If after 5 days you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication, and your symptoms are improving, or you never had symptoms, you may end isolation after day 5.
Regardless of when you end isolation, avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 until at least day 11.
You should wear a high-quality mask through day 10.
If you had moderate illness (if you experienced shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing) or severe illness (you were hospitalized) due to COVID-19 or you have a weakened immune system, you need to isolate through day 10.
If you had severe illness or have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before ending isolation. Ending isolation without a viral test may not be an option for you. If you are unsure if your symptoms are moderate or severe or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to a healthcare provider for further guidance.
After you have ended isolation, if your COVID-19 symptoms worsen, restart your isolation at day 0. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about your symptoms or when to end isolation.
Recommend screening testing of asymptomatic people without known exposures will no longer be recommended in most community settings.
Physical distance is just one component of how to protect yourself and others. It is important to consider the risk in a particular setting, including local COVID-19 Community Levels and the important role of ventilation, when assessing the need to maintain physical distance.
For the full CDC press release on the streamlining of Covid-19 Guidance, please utilize the link below:
To keep up with the latest information on Covid-19 Community Levels, utilize the CDC Tracker: COVID-19 by County | CDC