At this point, we’ve been dealing with COVID-19 for a while, and we know the rules that come with it pretty well. Six feet apart, always wear your mask, get vaccinated, and if you are exposed and test positive for COVID then you’re to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days. Except for it seems that now, like after nearly two years, those rules are changing. On Monday, December 27th, The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shortened the recommended quarantine time for people exposed to COVID from 10 days to five.
There are some rules around this though–oddly loose rules in my opinion–but rules nonetheless. To only isolate for five days you have to be asymptomatic (showing no COVID symptoms) and are still required to wear a mask around people for five days.
Unsurprisingly, this seemingly random change in rules shocked many of us and left us wondering why. Especially when another surge seems to be rolling around with the new variant.
According to the CDC, “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.”
This of course doesn’t mean stop doing what makes you feel most comfortable and safe. I for one, have COVID and will be isolating for as long as I’m testing positive for the safety of those around me. But to some out there, this change may seem less scary, and more freeing.
This should go without saying, I’ll say it anyway: wear your mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and if you haven’t done so already, get vaccinated or get your booster.
By Kendal Amos, Junior, Chi-arts