BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday that it will shorten the recommended isolation time for those who test positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic.

“The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after,” the CDC said.

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The recommendation for people who no longer present symptoms varies depending on their vaccination status.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should isolate at home for five days, no matter if they’re vaccinated or not, according to the CDC.

If people lack symptoms once those five days pass, the CDC said they can leave isolation. But, the agency said, they should continue wearing masks for five days to minimize any asymptomatic spread.

Dr. Miriam Alexander, director of employee health and wellness for LifeBridge Health, said the CDC’s guidelines are based on the transmission risk someone presents.

“All the scientific evidence that the CDC has reviewed seems to signify that your maximum infectivity time, the maximum time that you can transmit (COVID-19), is well over by five days,” Dr. Alexander said.

The CDC also updated its recommendation when it comes to how long people are supposed to quarantine after they have been exposed to COVID-19.

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If you are exposed to a positive person and are either unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, the agency recommends quarantining for five days, followed by five more days of masking around other people.

The same recommendation applies to people who have not yet received their booster shot but are six months removed from their second vaccine dose, or two months out from their Johnson & Johnson shot.

Those who have received their second Pfizer or Moderna dose within the past six months and those who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the past two months do not need to quarantine after exposure.

The same goes for people who have gotten their booster shot.

Instead, the CDC recommends wearing a mask for 10 days after they are exposed.

Regardless of vaccination status, it’s recommended that anyone who has been exposed to a person with COVID-19 get tested around the fifth day afterward.

Doctors say the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is getting the vaccine and the booster shot if you have not already done so.

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“The reason you mask and vaccinate yourself is to maximize the chance that other people making poor decisions won’t negatively affect you,” Alexander said. “You can never control your fellow man, but you can control yourself.”

Cristina Mendez