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CDC to drop five-day COVID isolation guidelines: Report

The planned recommendation would be the first update from the CDC on COVID-19 guidelines since 2021.

Published: February 13, 2024 12:41pm

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reportedly issuing new guidance that would drop the five-day isolation guidelines for Americans who test positive for COVID-19. 

The CDC currently recommends Americans stay home from work and school for at least five days if they test positive for COVID. The federal health agency is expected to announce in April that people can end their isolation if they are experiencing mild symptoms and are fever-free without the aid of medication for at least 24 hours, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. 

The planned recommendation, which is the first update from the CDC on the matter since 2021, comes after Oregon and California issued similar guidelines. The proposed guidelines would treat COVID similarly to the flu and RSV.

The White House has not formally signed off on the guidance, and one agency official said the recommended isolation time could "move around a bit" until everything is finalized. 

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