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CDC relaxes guidance as US has more tools to fight virus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed Covid-19 guidance on Thursday, saying the virus now poses a much lower risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death than earlier in the pandemic. Translate.

CDC no longer recommends testing people in schools people without Covid symptoms, its previous strategy to contain possible infections and prevent outbreaks. But such screening is still recommended in some high-risk settings such as nursing homes, prisons and homeless shelters.

And unvaccinated people don’t need to be quarantined if they’ve been exposed to Covid, according to new CDC guidance. Instead, public health officials now recommend that these people wear masks for 10 days and get tested on the fifth day.

A sign outside a hospital advertises a COVID-19 test on November 19, 2021 in New York City. On Friday, vaccine advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Prevention voted unanimously to recommend a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for all adults in the United States. six months after they finished the first two doses.

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The CDC, in a report released Thursday, said there is a high level of immunity in the population from both the vaccine and the infection, meaning the virus now poses a much lower threat to community health. Greta Massetti, a CDC epidemiologist, said the US has the vaccines and treatments it needs to fight the virus. But it’s important for people to keep their vaccines up to date, according to the public health agency.

“This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move toward a point where COVID-19 no longer has a serious impact on our daily lives,” Massetti said.

The changes in CDC guidance come as public health officials warn that the United States could face a large wave of infections in the fall and winter, due to immunity to the vaccine. decline and people gather indoors to avoid colder weather.

The United States has repeatedly faced new sub-omicron bacteria that are more transmissible than previous versions of the virus, which has resulted in high levels of infection. The dominant version of the virus is now omicron BA.5, causing infections to increase during spring and early summer.

What to do if you test positive

People with healthy immune systems, regardless of vaccination status, should isolate for five days after testing positive for the virus, but you can end quarantine on day six if you don’t have symptoms. symptoms or if you have not had a fever for 24 hours and otherwise your symptoms have improved, follow the guidelines.

After isolation, you should wear a high-quality mask until the 10th day after testing positive. If you’ve had two negative rapid antigen tests, you can stop wearing the mask sooner, according to the instructions. But you should avoid people who are more likely to get sick from Covid, such as the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, until at least day 11.

People with weakened immune systems, people who have been hospitalized with Covid, or people who have difficulty breathing due to the virus should isolate from others for 10 days. But people with weakened immune systems and those who have been hospitalized should also consult a doctor before ending isolation.

If you end up in isolation but your Covid symptoms get worse, you should go back into isolation and follow the instructions from the beginning, according to the CDC.

The United States is currently reporting an average of more than 107,000 new Covid cases per day, according to the CDC. That could be a significantly low number because many people are currently testing at home and the results are not picked up in the official data.

According to CDC data, about 6,000 people with Covid are hospitalized every day. On average, nearly 400 people die from the virus every day.

About 67% of people in the US are fully immunized, according to the CDC. But only 48% of those who received the first two shots received the recommended booster dose. And only 30% of children aged 5 to 11 are fully immunized, according to the data.

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