CDC now says to treat COVID like the flu, drops 5-day quarantine, advises gathering outside to prevent getting sick

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new guidelines regarding COVID-19, including treating coronavirus like the flu and dropping the 5-day quarantine.

“The new guidance brings a unified approach to addressing risks from a range of common respiratory viral illnesses, such as COVID-19, flu, and RSV, which can cause significant health impacts and strain on hospitals and health care workers,” the CDC said in a press release on Friday.

“While every respiratory virus does not act the same, adopting a unified approach to limiting disease spread makes recommendations easier to follow and thus more likely to be adopted and does not rely on individuals to test for illness, a practice that data indicates is uneven,” the CDC stated.

In a stark contrast to previous COVID guidelines, the CDC significantly dialed back precautions regarding the virus.

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The CDC now says people who test positive for COVID-19 no longer need to quarantine from others for at least five days, a recommendation established in late 2021. At the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC recommended those who tested positive should subject themselves to a 10-day isolation period.

Now, the government’s health agency said people should return to “normal activities when, for at least 24 hours, symptoms are improving overall, and if a fever was present, it has been gone without use of a fever-reducing medication.”

“For people with COVID-19 and influenza, treatment is available and can lessen symptoms and lower the risk of severe illness,” the CDC declared.

The CDC advised infected people to wear a well-fitting mask and to keep a distance from others.

The new guidelines also recommended “taking more steps for cleaner air.”

The CDC’s “active recommendations on core prevention steps and strategies” include “bringing in more fresh outside air, purifying indoor air, or gathering outdoors.”

The CDC also recommended staying up to date with vaccinations for COVID and influenza.

CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen said, “Today’s announcement reflects the progress we have made in protecting against severe illness from COVID-19. 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.”

The health agency said it is now making updates to the COVID guidelines because the U.S. is “seeing far fewer hospitalizations and deaths associated with COVID-19 and because we have more tools than ever to combat flu, COVID, and RSV.”

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