CDC relaxes COVID-19 guidelines on quarantines, social distancing

People are urged to social distance on a golf course.
(Image credit: Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday dropped its recommendation that Americans quarantine if they come in close contact with a person who has COVID-19.

In another reversal, the CDC also said people no longer need to stay at least six feet away from others. Agency officials made these changes after estimating 95 percent of Americans 16 and older have some degree of immunity, whether it's from being infected or vaccinated.

This summer, the average number of reported COVID-19 cases has been at around 100,000 a day, with 300 to 400 deaths, The Associated Press reports. "The current conditions of the pandemic are very different from those of the last two years," Greta Massetti, an author of the CDC's COVID-19 guidelines, said.

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The CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in areas where community transmission is high or they are at high risk of severe illness if they become infected by COVID-19. For those who test positive for the virus, the CDC says they should isolate from others for at least five days, and end that isolation once they are fever-free for 24 hours without having to use medication and their symptoms are either gone or improving.

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