The nation’s leading public health organization loosened its COVID-19 recommendations on Thursday, reducing the advice that people in the United States should isolate themselves if they have intimate contact with an infected person.
The 6-foot minimum distance between individuals has been abolished, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The adjustments, which come more than 2 1/2 years after the epidemic began, are motivated by the realization that 95% of Americans 16 and older are thought to have developed some level of protection, either via vaccination or infection, according to agency officials.
“The current conditions of this pandemic are very different from those of the last two years,” said the CDC’s Greta Massetti, an author of the guidelines.
Social segregation and other formerly typical safeguards have long since been abandoned in many parts of the country, but some of the changes may be especially significant for schools, which in many areas of the country will be starting courses this month.
The proposal that schools conduct routine daily testing has likely been eliminated, though officials warned that practice may be resumed in specific circumstances during an outbreak.
A “test-to-stay” proposal that indicated teenagers exposed to COVID-19 might commonly test – rather than quarantined at home. The option for testing vanished along with the recommendation for quarantine.
Only in locations with high community transmission rates or where a person is thought to be at exceptionally high risk of developing a serious illness are masks still advised.
Even before the newest guidance was released, school districts across the U.S. reduced their COVID-19 precautions in recent weeks. A restoration to education prior to the epidemic has been promised by some.
When classrooms return this fall, masks will generally be optional, and some of the biggest districts in the country have reduced or abolished the COVID-19 testing requirements.
Los Angeles public schools will no longer administer COVID-19 tests on a weekly basis; instead, the district will offer at-home tests to families. Weekly testing was likewise discontinued in Wake County schools in North Carolina.
In the past, the CDC advised persons who have not received their COVID-19 immunizations to avoid close contact with anyone who tests positive for the virus and to stay at home for at least 5 days. The EPA now claims that home quarantining is not required, but it still advises anyone affected to use a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested after 5.
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