CDC shortens 5-day COVID isolation, updates guidance on masks, testing

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Doctor connected imaginable alteration to COVID guidance

Doctor connected imaginable revision to CDC's COVID guidelines: "No alteration successful the science" 04:39

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday it would upwind down overmuch of its remaining guidance specifically targeted astatine COVID-19, including an authoritative extremity to a pandemic-era plea for Americans to stay location for 5 days after investigating positive.

The bureau cited improvements successful the rates of hospitalizations and deaths inflicted by the microorganism this past play for the alteration successful its recommendations.

"COVID-19 remains an important nationalist wellness threat, but it is nary longer the exigency that it erstwhile was, and its wellness impacts progressively lucifer those of different respiratory viral illnesses," the bureau said Friday successful a report justifying its decision.

Instead of offering recommendations circumstantial for COVID-19, the bureau said it would power to connection a "unified, applicable attack to addressing risk" from the microorganism alongside influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, oregon RSV. 

"We're taking this unified attack truthful things tin beryllium simpler and much apt to beryllium followed. And if they're easier and much apt to beryllium followed, past we're protecting everyone, right? So the folks who are much susceptible were apical of caput erstwhile we did this," CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen told CBS News.

The determination follows a months-long effort started past twelvemonth to gully up a caller  blending unneurotic national recommendations for COVID-19, flu and RSV. Cohen blamed the emergence of the highly mutated variant BA.2.86 past summertime and fall, and the fast-spreading descendant it spawned, JN.1, for delaying the rollout of the caller guidance.

"We wanted to spot if the trends would clasp done different respiratory season. We wanted to spot continued decreases successful hospitalizations, decreases successful deaths, adjacent with that larger alteration successful the virus," Cohen said.

The changes see caller guidance for erstwhile to enactment location erstwhile sick, erstwhile radical should trial for COVID-19 and erstwhile to enactment connected masks.

Here's the latest astir the CDC's caller recommendations.

Are COVID-19 tests inactive recommended?

Similar to influenza, wherever antiviral treatments are disposable for those who trial affirmative and are astatine higher hazard of terrible disease, the CDC's caller guidance continues to impulse investigating for COVID-19 particularly successful much susceptible people.

"If you are feeling sick, it is inactive important to cognize what you have, due to the fact that you could get entree to treatment. We person attraction for flu and COVID, and treatment tin besides prevention someone's beingness and trim the hazard of long COVID," said Cohen.

Cohen said the bureau would besides proceed to accidental investigating was an enactment to beryllium "proactive to support those astir you," earlier visiting others who mightiness beryllium much vulnerable.

"If it's positive, we spot precise fewer mendacious positives, we cognize that you person COVID. But it is inactive imaginable to person a mendacious negative. So it tin beryllium reassuring, but it is not a warrant that you don't person COVID if you spot a negative," said Cohen.

A caller CDC survey recovered that little than fractional of radical would bash an at-home COVID-19 test if they had cough oregon acold symptoms. 

It besides acknowledged that mild cases are present often not detected by location tests until past the highest of infectiousness, fixed the hazard of mendacious antagonistic results soon aft an infection.

"Even erstwhile investigating occurs, COVID-19 is often not identified aboriginal successful illness. The wide sensitivity of COVID-19 antigen tests is comparatively debased and adjacent little successful individuals with lone mild symptoms," the CDC said successful its report.

The agency's caller guidance besides abandons an earlier suggestion that trial results mightiness beryllium utile to determine erstwhile to halt isolation aft an infection.

When should I deterioration a mask? 

For radical who are sick with COVID-19 oregon different respiratory virus, the CDC volition suggest masking arsenic portion of 5 further days of ramped-up precautions aft they are nary longer staying home, alongside distancing and improved ventilation.

The bureau had antecedently suggested wearing a disguise for up to 10 days aft stopping isolation erstwhile indoors adjacent different people.

Much of the data the CDC had tracked connected COVID-19 alongside different trends, similar influenza and RSV, volition besides proceed to beryllium published. But circumstantial benchmarks, which had guided county-by-county recommendations connected erstwhile radical should deterioration masks and instrumentality different precautions, are present being discarded. 

"This guidance is not going to necktie to immoderate specific colors oregon thing similar that. We're trying to springiness folks wide tools that they tin usage to support themselves, and past springiness them accusation astir what's happening successful their community," said Cohen.

Cohen stressed that guidance for wellness attraction facilities, similar semipermanent attraction nursing homes, would not beryllium changing astatine this time. 

It is unclear however benchmarks volition beryllium updated for these settings. This past season, immoderate hospitals and different much susceptible settings had relied connected the weekly representation to marque decisions connected erstwhile to necessitate masks and instrumentality different precautions.

When tin I spell backmost to enactment aft COVID-19?

A pandemic-era plea for Americans to isolate astatine location for 5 days aft investigating affirmative for COVID-19 is besides being ended. 

Instead, the CDC volition impulse radical sick with symptoms of respiratory viruses to enactment location until their fever has disappeared for astatine slightest 24 hours without relying connected fever-lowering medications and their symptoms are improving. 

The bureau cited states that person already adopted these kinds of recommendations, similar Oregon and California, arsenic good arsenic different countries abroad. Experts person questioned however often the five-day recommendations were followed, fixed hurdles similar the deficiency of paid sick leave.

"Importantly, states and countries that person already shortened recommended isolation times person not seen accrued hospitalizations oregon deaths related to COVID-19," the bureau said.

Over the pursuing 5 days, the CDC suggests radical instrumentality further precautions similar distancing, improving ventilation and wearing masks particularly astir susceptible people. 

Alexander Tin

Alexander Tin is simply a integer newsman for CBS News based successful the Washington, D.C. bureau. He covers the Biden administration's nationalist wellness agencies, including the national effect to infectious illness outbreaks similar COVID-19.

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