In response to an upsurge in cases, the recommended isolation time for patients with asymptomatic COVID-19 has been reduced from 10 to 5 days. In many regions, the strategy is likely to lessen the disruption caused by infection-related workforce shortages.
Most transmissions occur two days before and three days after symptoms begin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The virus’s Omicron variant, which is presently circulating in the United States, has accelerated the outbreak’s rapid spread.
The rising number of people forced to isolate has put a strain on various industries, including air transport, which saw thousands of flights cancelled over the holidays.
On Tuesday, as flight disruptions entered their fourth day, executives from major US airlines were among those calling for a change.
The new guidelines were driven by science, according to the CDC, and the isolation must be followed by five days of wearing a mask among other people.
However, taking fast at-home testing before the end of their isolation periods was not recommended. Many experts believe that such testing can aid in determining whether or not people are still spreading the disease.
In England, people must now isolate for seven days rather than ten, with two negative lateral flow tests required to stop their self-isolation, the first no earlier than day six and the second no later than 24 hours.
People who have not yet had a booster shot after receiving their second dosage of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations, or two months after receiving a Johnson & Johnson dose, are also at risk.
Last Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reduced the recommended isolation period for asymptomatic health professionals from ten to seven days. They were, however, required to complete a test before being allowed to leave their isolation.
Some states and local governments in the United States are implementing new steps to combat the rising number of cases. New York City has implemented new vaccine restrictions, including a vaccine mandate for private-sector workers in the city.