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Patients who test positive for COVID-19 or believe they are infected no longer need to stay home and isolate for 5 days, as per new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines adopted last week. The CDC reworked its prevailing guidance, saying that COVID-19 “is no longer the emergency that it once was,” and people who with COVID-19 can return to everyday activities if their symptoms are mild, have been improving, and it’s been 24 hours since they’ve had a fever. Real-world experience suggests that many people don’t even bother testing for COVID-19 or isolating for 5 days anyway, according to NBC News.

Americans have substantial immunity: More than 98% of the U.S. population now has some degree of protective immunity against COVID-19 from vaccination, prior infection, or both, the agency says. The changes reflect the evidence that people are most infectious in the 2 days before and 3 days after symptoms develop.

CDC Relaxes COVID-19 Isolation Guidelines