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On Monday, Dec. 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the guidelines for people who have either been diagnosed with or have been exposed to COVID-19.

The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society. CDC’s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses. These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives. Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director

COVID-19 Diagnosis

The recommended length of isolation for people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 has been shortened from 10 days to 5 days*, followed by 5 days of wearing a well-fitting mask when around others.

*If the individual still has a fever after the initial 5 days of isolation, they are to remain in isolation until the fever resolves.

COVID-19 Exposure

Vaccinated and Boosted, up-to-date

People who are up-to-date with their vaccinations and/or boosters do not need to quarantine, but will need to wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days while around other people.

Regardless of vaccination status, anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 should get tested on day 5, if possible, after the exposure has occurred.

If symptoms develop, stay home and test again.

Unvaccinated, or Those not Current on Vaccines/Boosters

Those who are either unvaccinated or not current on their vaccines and/or boosters will need to quarantine for 5 days, followed by 5 more days of wearing a well-fitting mask when around others. If quarantine is not feasible, the individual must wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days when around other people.

Regardless of vaccination status, anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 should get tested on day 5, if possible, after the exposure has occurred.

If symptoms develop, stay home and test again.

Important Note

These updates are for the general population, and not intended for healthcare settings. Information on healthcare personnel can be found in the following two documents: Interim Guidance for Managing Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection or Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and Strategies to Mitigate Healthcare Personnel Staffing Shortages that were released last week.

Vaccine Effectiveness

  • After having two doses of an mRNA vaccine, individuals are approximately 35% better-protected than those who are unvaccinated.
  • After having a COVID-19 booster, effectiveness is restored to approximately 75%.
  • The most important thing to understand about being vaccinated is that COVID-19 vaccinations decrease the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.
  • Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our communities.
    This data was received from South Africa and the United Kingdom, and was found on the CDC’s website.

Vaccine Schedule

Pfizer-BioNTech: After the initial 2 vaccine doses, individuals will need a booster 6 months following to remain up-to-date.

Moderna: After the initial vaccine dose, individuals will need a booster 6 months following to remain up-to-date.

Johnson & Johnson: After the initial vaccine dose, individuals will need a booster 2 months following to remain up-to-date.


The Racine County Eye is committed to publishing the most current and accurate information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in our Coronavirus section. View our COVID-19 Dashboard that offers real-time (updated daily) statistical reporting for Racine County.