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Shortened CDC recommendations for COVID-19 isolation times helps UNLV cheerleader

Posted at 6:06 AM, Dec 29, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — If you test positive for COVID-19, your time to isolate just got shorter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shortened the recommended times people should isolate if they test positive or if they are exposed to the virus.

Mia McCarthy is a junior at UNLV and she was worried she was going to miss the biggest cheerleading competition of the year in Florida in a couple of weeks, but because of the new CDC guidelines, it looks like she will be able to go.

RELATED: CDC recommends shorter COVID isolation, quarantine for all

“I was concerned that I might not be able to get back to practice for nationals, which are in two and a half weeks,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy spent Christmas with her family in New York. The day after the holiday, she tested positive for COVID.

“My symptoms only lasted for about two days, so I was sitting here like I feel fine, I can’t do this for seven more days,” McCarthy said.

The CDC is now recommending shortening isolation and quarantine times for those testing positive. For McCarthy, that’s a huge weight off her shoulders. She flies back to Vegas from New York on Thursday.

“Once I found out it was only five days, it was a sense of relief that I could go back and cheer again,” said McCarthy.

The CDC says when people test positive for COVID-19, they should now isolate for five days instead of 10 if they don’t have symptoms. The same applies to quarantine if you have been exposed to the virus. Dr. Frank Lee an Emergency Physician at MountainView Hospital says the first few days of being exposed are the danger zone.

SIMILAR: Nevada to ease mask mandates in 2 counties, but Clark County restrictions remain in place for now

“An infected person is contagious a day or two before or two to three days after the symptoms started,” said Dr. Lee.

The CDC says the best thing you can do is get tested the fifth day after you have been exposed. Dr. Lee says if you start having symptoms, quarantine immediately until a negative test confirms you don’t have the virus.

“The virus is constantly evolving and that is a problem virus where it can mutate and evolve into a different type of variants,” Dr. Lee explained.

He says these changes were made to help keep society running smoothly and relieve many of the staffing shortages we have seen nationwide.

Health experts say boosters are lowering the risk of getting infected and passing the virus to someone else significantly. In a recent study, data shows the vaccine effectiveness by getting the two doses of the mRNA vaccine is 35%. If you get the booster that percentage is bumped up to 75%.