CDC Updates COVID Isolation Guidelines For People Who Test Positive

stressed man holding Coronavirus(Covid-19) positive test result with Antigen Rapid Test kit (ATK)

Photo: geargodz / iStock / Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its COVID-19 isolation guidelines for people who tested positive for the virus on Friday (March 1). The new guidelines eliminate the five-day isolation for people who test positive.

Instead, the CDC says you should stay home if you test positive but can return to work once you are feeling better and have been fever-free for 24 hours without medication.

The guidelines, which were last updated in late 2021, now match guidance for the flu and other respiratory illnesses.

"Today's announcement reflects the progress we have made in protecting against severe illness from COVID-19," CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen said in a statement. "However, we still must use the commonsense solutions we know work to protect ourselves and others from serious illness from respiratory viruses -- this includes vaccination, treatment, and staying home when we get sick."

Doctors and health officials praised the decision to update the guidance to be in line with other respiratory illnesses.

"I think this is going to help us in the coming years to make sure that our numbers of influenza and RSV cases can also be cut down, not just COVID," Dr. Kristin Englund, an infectious diseases expert at the Cleveland Clinic, told NBC News.

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