No more isolating? CDC updating guidelines on positive COVID-19 testing

You may not have to stay home anymore after testing positive for COVID-19.

The CDC will update its guidance on this in the next couple of months, and doctors say you likely won’t need to isolate for five days after getting that positive test.

The change would follow similar guidance to how you treat the flu or RSV, which means you would stay home and isolate while you have symptoms, and you can head back to school or work after you’ve been fever-free for 24 hours without medication.

“There’s also cost of isolation of course, you know, we’ve seen with absences from schools that test scores have decreased, and not only in education and the outcomes in terms of productivity and learning are important, but also our human connections are important and connections to each other,” said Dr. Ruanne Barnabas, Chief of the Infectious Diseases Division at Massachusetts General Hospital.

But some health officials worry about eliminating that isolation period when COVID-19 has been deadlier than viruses like the flu and some suffer from Long COVID-19 symptoms.

The CDC hasn’t changed its isolation guidance for COVID-19 since 2021, and that new advice will likely come in April, according to the Washington Post.

“I trust the CDC and I know they’re using the best data to make this decision,” said Dr. Barnabas.

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