The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled a series of new COVID guidelines Thursday afternoon, marking the organization’s ongoing efforts to ease restrictions as new treatments and vaccine formulations continue to be released.
The new guidelines, which mainly focused on changing quarantine and isolation recommendations, had been discussed for several weeks, but now the agency says it has streamlined its advice on what to do if people are infected or exposed to the virus.
“We are in a stronger place today as a nation, with more tools – like vaccinations, boosters and treatments – to protect ourselves and our communities from serious illness from COVID-19” , Dr. Greta Massetti said in a statement. “This guidance recognizes that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us reach a point where COVID-19 is no longer severely disrupting our daily lives.”
While the new guidelines do several notable things, including distinguishing between mild and severe cases of the virus when it comes to isolation times, one of the biggest changes has been the addition of advice for those who are suffering. of “COVID rebound”, one increasingly studied. phenomenon that has led to some people testing positive for the virus after appearing to recover from it.
These people include President Joe Biden and White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“Rebound COVID” is defined by the CDC as a case that involves either a recurrence of symptoms, something that has become more publicized since the advent of omicron subvariants, or a positive COVID test result several days after receiving a negative test result, indicating that a patient’s viral load has risen again.
If a patient experiences a “COVID rebound” case, either because their symptoms worsen after their period of isolation or they test positive for the virus again, then the CDC now recommends that they return to a state of isolation, by restarting its clock at the so-called “Day 0” time which is associated with the initial onset of symptoms.
Under the new guidelines, a person who tests positive for COVID is recommended to self-isolate for at least five days. If they have a mild case of the virus, their fever clears for 24 hours or more without the use of medication, and their symptoms improve, patients can end isolation after five days. These patients are still encouraged to wear a mask for the next five days and stay away from immunocompromised people for at least 11 days after their symptoms appear.
If a patient is suffering from a serious illness, defined as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, they are advised to self-isolate for 10 days and possibly seek medical attention before ending this self-isolation.
The same guidelines will apply to people self-isolating with a “rebound COVID” case, according to CDC guidelines.