LOS ANGLES (CBSLA) — The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has announced a change in the recommended isolation time for both people who test positive with COVID-19 and people who come in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

The recommended quarantine time has been cut in half, from 10 days to 5.

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Based on new findings, the CDC reported evidence that supports that people who have Coronavirus – any of the variants – are most immediately contagious for the two days before, and the three days after they come down with symptoms.

This may also come due to the fact that the Omicron variant, now the driving variant in the world, is less symptomatic and virulent, and in many cases asymptomatic altogether.

CDC Director Rachel Walensky warned of a potentially massive spike in positive COVID-19 cases following Christmas.

The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society. CDC’s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses. These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives. Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather.”

With numbers on a steady rise throughout the nation, dozens of live events, sporting events and holiday celebrations have been canceled over recent weeks. Health experts suggest that those numbers are just the beginning of what may be the largest case numbers we’ve seen throughout the entire course of the pandemic.

However, with the Omicron variant becoming the primary variant, cases are less virulent, meaning symptoms are less traumatic, and recovery time is much quicker. For many, contracting the Omicron variant may mean no symptoms at all, especially if that person is vaccinated against the virus.

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Walensky told the Associated Press, ” Not all of those cases are going to be severe. In fact many are going to be asymptomatic. … We want to make sure there is a mechanism by which we can safely continue to keep society functioning while following the science.”

Quarantine mandates will still be issued by workplace, or even by state, as the CDC guidelines are simply in place as a recommendation, or guidance for employers.

A full list of the new guidance, via CDC:

If you test positive for COVID-19 (regardless of vaccination status):

  • Isolate; Stay home for 5 days.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • If you continue to have a fever, stay home until the fever resolves

If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19

  • Quarantine

If you have been boosted OR completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months OR completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5, if possible.
  • If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.
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If you are unvaccinated OR completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted OR completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted

  • Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • If you can’t quarantine you must wear a mask for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5 if possible.
  • If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.