The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said its recommended COVID-19 quarantine time is now five days, as opposed to the previous 10 days.

As the CDC gathers data about the COVID-19 omicron variant, which is now the dominant variant in the U.S., they have found that transmission occurs primarily in the early days of experiencing symptoms.

With that, the CDC is suggesting that infected individuals, regardless of vaccination status, quarantine for five days, and wear a mask around others for an additional five days as a precaution. If they are asymptomatic after five days, it is safe to to leave quarantine without a minimal threat of spreading the virus.

“Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others,” The CDC said in a statement Monday. “The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.”

A similar quarantine recommendation has been set for unvaccinated people, or people who are six months removed from their last vaccine, who may have come in contact with with an infected individual. A five day quarantine period, followed by five days of masking is advised.

For asymptomatic people who are fully vaccinated, or “boosted,” no quarantine period is suggested if exposed, but the CDC is recommending they wear a mask around others for 10 days and take a COVID-19 test on the fifth day after the exposure, and or if they experience symptoms within that time.

“The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society. CDC’s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses,” CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives. Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather.”

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