CDC Considers End to COVID 5-day Isolation

While COVID is still being transmitted, access to vaccines and reduced severity of symptoms have already caused many communities to roll back isolation, masking and testing policies implemented when the virus posed a greater threat and led to high hospitalization and death rates.

Last month, the California Department of Public Health issued guidance similar to what CDC is considering implementing nationwide. Several school districts in the state have communicated that new guidance to their communities. 

Practices across the country are mixed, however. Some communities long ago dropped required 5-day isolation periods for those testing positive for COVID but having no symptoms, while other localities have maintained the protocol.

The reactions to isolation policies in schools are mixed as well. Many say they helped to mitigate the virus’s spread even as school staff had to track who had or hadn’t met the 5-day isolation period. But others blamed the protocol for unnecessarily keeping students and staff away from school when they didn’t feel sick.

A study published in October by the University of Southern California and Stanford University found children infected with COVID’s Omicron variant remained infectious for a median of three days after testing positive.

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