Reprinted from The New York Times 12/27/2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday (12/27) shortened by half the isolation period for people who contract the coronavirus, saying that those without symptoms could safely resume mixing with others just five days after their positive test results.

That replaced previous guidance from the agency that infected patients isolate for 10 days.

The new guidance was announced as the highly transmissible Omicron variant is sending daily caseloads soaring, worsening a labor shortage and forcing airlines to cancel thousands of flights.

“The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the C.D.C., said. The new recommendations “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.”

Some places are reporting their worst caseloads of pandemic. Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Puerto Rico have reported more coronavirus cases in the past week than in any other seven-day period, data show.