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New CDC Guidelines Shorten Isolation And Quarantine Periods, Recommend Masks

Two people walk past a sign for COVID-19 testing at the Cleveland Clinic, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak
Associated Press

On Monday officials with the Center's for Disease Control issued an update that shortens the recommended isolation and quarantine period for people with COVID-19. The isolation restrictions were cut from ten days to five for Americans who catch the coronavirus, but recommends people still wear a mask around others for an additional five days.

Health officials said research shows that people with the coronavirus are most infectious in the two days before and three days after they develop symptoms. Dr. Joe Gastaldo, Medical Director for Infectious Diseases at OhioHealth explains what many say is confusing.

"If somebody at home who has had COVID at day five, if they are feeling better, febrile symptoms are improved. At day five, they can come out of their home, however, they still need to wear a mask around others for five additional days, “ said Dr. Gastaldo.

Gastaldo said he believes those who have followed the CDC guidelines from the start will continue to follow them but unfortunately not a large segment of the population is not getting on board.

"We still have roughly 50 to 60 million people in our country who have not yet been vaccinated. We have people who are not following mask recommendations as they stand now. And I am concerned that when it comes to the updated guidance that came out yesterday, people will not be wearing their masks for five more additional days," he said.

Dr. Gastaldo said the CDC guidelines for healthcare workers was updated on December 23rd and differs from the public guidelines. He said to visit cdc.gov for more detailed information on healthcare worker and general population isolation guidelies.

Williams was a reporter for WOSU. Natasha is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and has more than 20 years of television news and radio experience.