5-day COVID-19 isolation no longer necessary, CDC says

It's hard to believe it's been almost 4 years since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted.

With the height of it over, the CDC is relaxing their guidelines once again – saying those who contract the disease no longer have to quarantine for five days.

"This is a really big change," said Dr. Lea Monday, an infectious disease physician at the Detroit Medical Center. This is "the first time the CDC has loosened this going back to 2021… This is really because over time, Covid has become much less deadly and the deaths have dropped by 90% compared to when it first started."

Simply put, COVID-19 is now considered just like any other respiratory illness.

"You can return to school or work 24 hours after you feel better, or your fever's gone," Monday said. "This is already what we do for flu, for strep throat, and for many other illnesses." 

Monday said the CDC's decision stemmed from data that shows rates of flu hospitalizations have been outpacing COVID-19 admissions in the last few months.

"There’s very good data from states like Oregon and California where they have loosened isolation precautions – that they have not seen more emergency visits, not seen more deaths," the doctor said.

According to a statement from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the department is reviewing the CDC's latest change, which applies to kids and adults.

"We encourage Michiganders to use tools available to them, including staying up to date on vaccinations, staying home if unwell, keeping a supply of tests handy and other hygiene to prevent illness including handwashing," MDHHS stated.

Monday emphasized masking up even after the 24-hour period. She said others in the office and at school should too just to be safe.

"That person, he or she, should still be wearing a mask," Monday said. "If they’re not, I would encourage them to do so, and I would definitely wear one myself – that would be my personal preference."

If you are still feeling sick after the 24-hour period, it is recommended to stay home until you feel better.