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I tested positive for COVID-19. How can I protect others from getting infected?

This article was updated on April 23, 2024

If you test positive for COVID-19, you can help prevent the disease from spreading further, especially among your household members and your community.

The Center For Disease Control(CDD) on Friday, March 1st, 2024, revised its isolation guidelines for those who test positive for Covid-19. 

Under the new guidelines, people who test positive for Covid-19 will no longer be asked to isolate for five days. Instead, the CDC states that people who test positive for Covid, and have been fever free for 24 hours, can now go about their normal daily activities like going to work or school. 

Previously the CDC recommended a five day isolation period for people who tested positive for Covid, even if they didn’t have symptoms. 

According to the CDC, the new protocols “reflect a shift away from the emergency response phase of the pandemic to the recovery and maintenance phases.” 

The agency noted that the threat from Covid has morphed into being similar to that of other common respiratory viruses, such as influenza, the flu, RSV and others. Thus, the agency will no longer issue Covid-specific guidelines. Instead they will now be issuing a more general ‘Respiratory Virus Guidance’ to cover all respiratory illnesses.  

The CDC did note, however, that people at higher risk for severe illness such as the elderly, pregnant women and the immunocompromised, may need to take additional preventive measures. 

And despite doing away with the isolation guidelines, the CDC  recommends that people continue to be aware that they can still spread Covid-19 for up to five days after they feel better.  The agency encouraged those folks to mask around vulnerable people, and open windows to improve the flow of fresh air.  

This article was written and edited by the Tayo editorial desk and has been reviewed by an independent panel of subject matter experts.

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