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State slashes length of COVID quarantine for those without symptoms

Oahu will see no new restrictions over the New Year's weekend as Mayor Rick Blangiardi called on businesses and individuals to voluntarily take precautions.
Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 2:25 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 29, 2021 at 4:27 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state is easing its quarantine policy for those who have tested positive for COVID following CDC recommendations that have drawn concern from some experts.

Under the new guidelines, effective Jan. 3, those who test positive for COVID should:

  • Isolate for five days and until symptoms are gone;
  • Continue to wear a mask for five days after isolation.

The policy applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

Meanwhile, those who are boosted or have been vaccinated within the past six months and have been exposed to COVID no longer need to quarantine.

However, they should wear a mask for 10 days and get tested on day five.

Those who aren’t vaccinated should quarantine for five days and get tested on day five.

The new guidelines have triggered fierce debate, with some saying they put commerce over public health. Others, however, say the new policy is practical and safe given the ongoing surge.

“We are adopting the CDC recommendations as one part of effort our to blunt the current very rapid spread of the Omicron variant,” said state Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble.

“We will continue to follow the science. We should all anticipate that guidance may continue to evolve in the coming weeks as we learn more.”

This story will be updated.

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