| Credit: Photo by Satheesh Sankaran on Unsplash

CDC explains decision for shorter isolation, quarantine

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday explained the group’s thinking behind shortening its COVID-19 isolation and quarantine recommendations and clarified the guidelines apply to kids as well as adults.

The agency said more than 100 studies from 17 countries show most transmissions happen early in an infection, and pointed to early data from the U.S. and South Korea suggesting time between exposure and appearance of symptoms may be shorter for omicron than other variants.

The CDC currently suggests those exposed to the virus quarantine for five days, unless they have gotten booster shots or recently received their initial vaccine doses. The agency said anyone exposed — regardless of vaccination status — should get tested five days later, if possible.

Some health experts have questioned the new recommendations, especially the timing of them coming amid a spike in cases driven by a new, highly contagious variant. Some also worry that the new guidelines may allow people to leave isolation without getting tested to see if they were still infectious.

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials reported 6,992 total cases of COVID-19 Jan. 5, with 4,248 confirmed. A total of 41 new deaths, with 32 confirmed, were also reported.

With 15,587 tests reported Wednesday, 32.7% were confirmed positive.

Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 65.3%
Percentage of of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 56.4%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 13%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 7.9%