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    HomeHealthHere are the new recommendations

    Here are the new recommendations

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have made major changes to one of the key pieces of guidance regarding COVID-19.

    On Friday, health officials announced they were no longer recommending a five-day isolation period for anyone diagnosed with COVID-19. Instead, the new recommendation is that people with COVID can return to normal activities if they are fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their symptoms are improving.

    If a person does end quarantine, it’s recommended they practice enhanced hygiene, wear a well-fitting mask and, when possible, keep their distance from others, especially people 65 and older or those with weakened immune systems.

    “The bottom line is that when people follow these actionable recommendations to avoid getting sick, and to protect themselves and others if they do get sick, it will help limit the spread of respiratory viruses, and that will mean fewer people who experience severe illness,” National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Director Dr. Demetre Daskalakis said in a statement. “That includes taking enhanced precautions that can help protect people who are at higher risk for getting seriously ill.”

    The change, first reported by the Washington Post in February, was made after officials said the current virus is far less likely to cause severe illness, mostly due to widespread immunity through prior exposure and vaccines and better tools to treat the virus. Also, CDC noted, states and countries that have already adjusted recommended isolation times have not seen increased hospitalizations or deaths.

    According to CDC statistics weekly hospital admissions for COVID are down by more than 75% from the peak of the initial Omicron wave in January 2022 and deaths are down by more than 90%. In 2022, COVID accounted for more than 245,000 deaths, a figure that dropped to around 76,000 last year.

    Also, complications like multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, in children, are now less common, and the prevalence of Long COVID is also going down, CDC said.

    CDC is still recommending:

    People stay up to date with vaccinations for flu, COVID and RSV.

    • Practice good hygiene by covering coughs and sneezes, washing or sanitizing hands often and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.
    • Open windows and doors to bring more fresh air inside, purify indoor air or gather outdoors.
    • The five-day isolation guideline remains in place for community and healthcare settings, such as nursing homes and hospitals.
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