CDC loosens COVID-19 restrictions


The CDC modified a range of COVID-19 guidelines, from social distancing to contract tracing.

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased nationwide COVID-19 guidelines.  

The new guidelines advise that regardless of vaccination status, individuals exposed to COVID-19 no longer need to quarantine. The CDC instead recommends that exposed individuals should test after five days and wear a mask for ten days. In addition, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 can now end isolation after five days if they have negligible or improving symptoms. 

The CDC also dropped its emphasis on social distancing and its recommendation to systemically test asymptomatic individuals without known exposures to COVID-19. The CDC no longer recommends contact tracing, except in high-risk settings like healthcare facilities.

The government still recommends vaccination, testing if exposure to COVID-19 is suspected, isolation if one tests positive for COVID-19 and masking indoors. The CDC says that the new guidelines are part of a shift towards focusing on preventing severe illness from COVID-19 while relaxing restrictions.

“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,” CDC scientist Greta Massetti said.