The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is cutting down the isolation period for a person who has contracted COVID-19 from 10 days to five days — as long as they are asymptomatic.

On Monday (Dec. 27), the CDC announced the new update, which applies to everyone regardless of their vaccination status. After the person’s five days of quarantine ends, they are encouraged to wear a mask around people for an additional five days. “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,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives.”

Additionally, the CDC also shortened the recommended time for people to quarantine if they are exposed to anyone who has Coronavirus. If someone is unvaccinated — or vaccinated without a booster shot — health officials suggest five days of quarantine. For those who are vaccinated and boosted, the public health agency said there’s no need to quarantine.

“This is a great example of following the science,” said Megan Ranney, dean at the Brown University School of Public Health and an emergency physician. “We don’t need to continue to do things the same way, just because they’ve always been done that way. We should follow what we’re learning about the virus.”

As REVOLT previously reported, COVID-19 cases are currently on the rise in the United States thanks to the Omicron variant of the virus. Last week, the CDC said the new strain accounted for more than 73 percent of the new COVID-19 cases in the country. Since being detected in South Africa last month, the Omicron variant has been found in more than 90 countries. Infection rates have made “a remarkable jump in such a short time,” according to Dr. Eric Topol.