CDC now recommends 24-hour isolation for COVID-19

ALPENA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines on March 1 that support returning to work or school 24 hours after contracting a respiratory illness such as RSV, flu, or COVID-19.

The guidelines support returning to normal activities when symptoms are improving and the fever has gone away for 24 hours without any fever-reducing medication.

“With an effective vaccination, improved immunity, and many residents normalizing good hygiene practices, COVID-19 is being treated the same as other respiratory illnesses,” Dr. Josh Meyerson, medical director for District Health Department No. 4, said. “While any of these illnesses can still become serious health conditions, the new guidelines show that prevention is working.”

Previously, the CDC had guidelines for COVID-19 that recommended people with the virus should isolate themselves for five days.

The new guidelines now say that when returning to normal activities, people should still keep up to date with vaccinations for respiratory diseases, and continue maintaining good hygiene through handwashing, cleaning surfaces, and covering coughs and sneezes.

The CDC also recommends increasing ventilation indoors by opening windows and doors, getting tested for the flu and COVID-19 to receive antiviral medication to prevent severe illness, and wearing a well-fitting mask for five days.

“While every respiratory virus does not act the same, adopting a unified approach to limiting the spread of disease makes recommendations easier and more likely to be followed,” Meyerson said. “When people follow these recommendations to avoid getting sick, and to protect themselves and others if they do get sick, it will help limit the spread of respiratory viruses and fewer people who experience severe illness.”

To schedule a flu or COVID-19 vaccination, call the Health Department at 1-800-211-0294.

To learn more about the CDC’s guidelines, recommendations, and additional information about respiratory viruses, visit cdc.gov/respiratory-viruses/index.html.


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