The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its COVID-19 guidance to help the public better protect themselves and understand their risk as the virus now poses significantly less risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death compared to early on in the pandemic.
“We’re in a stronger place today as a nation, with more tools—like vaccination, boosters and treatments—to protect ourselves, and our communities, from severe illness from COVID-19,” the CDC’s Greta Massetti said in a statement on Thursday. “We also have a better understanding of how to protect people from being exposed to the virus, like wearing high-quality masks, testing, and improved ventilation.”
While the health agency acknowledged that there isn’t a lot of new information coming out they’re turning their focus to their messaging and better explaining how individuals can take the appropriate steps for themselves based on their own risk level.
The CDC continues to promote the importance of remaining up to date with vaccinations and advises individuals who test positive to wear a high-quality mask for at least 10 days and get tested again on day five rather than be forced to quarantine. “You are likely most infectious during these first five days,” the CDC says.
What’s more, officials will no longer recommend screening testing of asymptomatic people without known exposures.
“This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives,” added Massetti.
The changes come less than one month after the CDC shut down its COVID-19 program for cruise ships and two months after officials lifted testing requirements for international travelers arriving in the U.S.
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