The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled significant changes Thursday as part of a sweeping effort to overhaul the agency’s COVID-19 guidance.
“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’s Greta Massetti said in a statement announcing the changes.
Among the biggest differences in the new recommendations:
- The CDC’s COVID-19 prevention guidance will no longer differentiate by whether people are up-to-date on their vaccinations.
- Testing to screen for COVID-19 will no longer be recommended in most places for people who do not have COVID symptoms.
- The CDC says people who have tested positive for COVID-19 can stop wearing masks if their symptoms have improved, and they test negative twice in a row — initially on the sixth day after their infection began, and then again on the eighth day.
- And the CDC says that “to limit social and economic impacts, quarantine of exposed persons is no longer recommended, regardless of vaccination status.”
Massetti told reporters Thursday that the recommendations are being revised to simplify the myriad of federal COVID-19 guidance into an easier “framework.”
“It’s really about kind of how people can understand how all of these components fit together. It starts with people understanding their own personal risk, for serious illness, and that of their loved ones,” Massetti added.
Web pages posted Thursday by the agency include new descriptions and illustrations “to help you assess the likelihood that you were infected when you were around a person with COVID-19” and a simplified guide to “what to do if you were exposed” to someone with COVID-19.