Updated CDC Quarantine Guidelines

BISMARCK, N.D. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Monday, Dec 27, 2021, updated recommendations for COVID-19 isolation and quarantine.

For those who have a positive COVID-19 test, a shortened isolation time has been recommended.

The isolation period has been reduced from ten days to five days, if the person is asymptomatic, or if symptoms are improving and the individual has been fever-free without medication for 24 hours at day five. This isolation period should be followed by five days of wearing a well-fitting mask while around others.

The updated guidance comes from research that shows most COVID-19 transmission, including the emerging variant known as omicron, occurs early in the illness, typically 1-2 days prior to the onset of symptoms, plus 2-3 days after. The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) confirmed the detection of the first omicron cases in the state a little over a week ago.

"SARS‑CoV‑2, the virus that we have come to know as COVID-19 is a novel, or new virus and we have been learning about it in close to real time as scientists and epidemiologists around the world gather data and examine patterns of transmission and trends,” said NDDoH Disease Control and Forensic Pathology Section Chief Kirby Kruger. “As more is understood about the disease, protocols and recommendations are being updated. These recent updates reflect what is known about how the virus spreads and helps us all understand better how we can take protective actions.”

Additionally, CDC updated the recommended quarantine period for those exposed to COVID-19.

    •    For people who are unvaccinated, the CDC now recommends quarantine for five days followed by strict mask use for an additional five days. If the exposed person is under the age of 2, then masking is not required.

    •    For people who are vaccinated and are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose, or more than two months after the J&J vaccine, and not yet boosted, the CDC now recommends quarantine for five days followed by strict mask use for an additional five days.

    •    If a five-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at times when around others for 10 days after exposure.

    •    Individuals who have received their booster shot, have had a prior infection in the last 90 days, or are within 6 months of their primary mRNA series or two months of J & J dose, do not need to quarantine following exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.

    •    For all those exposed, best practice would also include a test for SARS-CoV-2 at day five after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

The NDDoH encourages those who are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 to do so as soon as possible to protect themselves, their families, loved ones and communities. All people ages 5 years and older are eligible to be vaccinated. Additionally, booster shots are strongly recommended for all individuals 16 and older.

Read the full story in your December 30th Times-Record. Purchase your paper copy of today’s paper at the TR office (146 3rd St NE, Valley City), local gas stations and grocery stores or an electronic copy by clicking subscribe in the top left corner of the www.times-online.com home page.

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