(WTNH) – The CDC is relaxing its COVID-19 guidelines, just in time for the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year.
There will be no more quarantine and social distancing recommendations for those who have been exposed to COVID said the CDC. If you come into contact with an infected person, there is no national guidance to quarantine.
This is because so few people are ending up in the hospital with COVID in recent months.
For one thing, the CDC estimates that 95% of adults 16 and older have some level of immunity right now. That means either they’ve been vaccinated, or they’ve had COVID. Or, in a lot of cases, both. There are also many effective treatments against severe COVID now.
All of this brings us into a different phase of the pandemic, said health officials. The CDC said people who have been exposed no longer need to social distance six feet apart or be quarantined. If you test positive, the CDC said you should isolate yourself for five days and wear a mask for 10.
Doctors warn that just because you’re free to move around and go to work does not mean that you’re free from infection.
“You still could be infected, whether you’re vaccinated or unvaccinated, so you still need to take certain precautions,” said Dr. Ulysses Wu, Hartford HealthCare Chief Epidemiologist.
Instead of isolating, the CDC says you should wear a mask if you’ve been exposed.
“You’re going to wear a high-quality mask and that means one of the white, blue, pink, whatever color you have, that has a couple different layers inside that acts as a barrier for the droplets that people cough,” said Dr. David Shapiro, St. Francis Hospital.
Many parents are welcoming these changes just in time for the beginning of the school year.
“Other parents, they’re probably a bit concerned because everybody has a different perspective on it but for me, two years into COVID, you should lessen it up because cases have been down,” said Hamden parent Donald Brenadel.
The CDC is also dropping the recommendation of cohorting, which is where students are divided into smaller groups to limit contact and the risk of transmission. And, schools are not recommended to test students daily unless there is a surge in infection.
Masks are still recommended in communities where COVID levels are high, and for people considered at high risk of severe illness.
Health professionals will tell you the best way to protect yourself and your family is to make sure everyone is fully vaccinated and boosted.