How long do you need to isolate if you have COVID-19? -- CDC changes isolation, quarantine guidelines

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new COVID-19 isolation and quarantine recommendations

Under the new guidelines, if you test positive for Covid, you only need to isolate for five days if you are asymptomatic. However, if you have symptoms, you should still stay away from others for 10 days. 

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Previously, all people who test positive for the virus were told to isolate for 10 days, regardless if they had symptoms or not. Even if you are asymptomatic, health officials say you should continue to wear a mask for the five days after your isolation.

"The five-day period is the most infectious period. So, that’s the time we want you to stay home, and then after that period of time you can still technically spread the virus up to 10 days of time, and that’s why we want you to wear a mask," said Dr. Asha Shajahan, a family medicine physician for Beaumont Health and the medical director of Community Health for Beaumont Grosse Pointe.

Similarly, if you were exposed to someone with the illness, you only need to quarantine for five days.

"If you have gotten both of your vaccines and your booster shot, and if you were exposed and you have no symptoms you do not need to quarantine," Shajahan said. 

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The CDC said the changes are motivated by science and aimed at getting people back to work, especially if they are classified as an essential worker.

"Really it’s a benefit for those who are fully boosted that they no longer just being exposed have to stay home for that 10-day period," Shajahan said.

However, not everyone is on board.

"As the manager, I wouldn't want anyone to come back before 10 days," said Carmen Allen, the general manager of Plum Hollow Lanes in Southfield. "Actually, I would prefer two weeks but five days, it's just too soon."

Allen said she had Covid and was impacted by the virus for almost two weeks.