ROCHESTER, N.Y (WROC) — Healthcare experts from the Greater Rochester Area are weighing in on the less restrictive COVID-19 guidelines announced by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  

The CDC and local medical personnel emphasize the pandemic is not over. But we have more tools putting us in a stronger place today to switch our focus to reducing severe diseases from Covid-19 with fewer restrictions based on community levels. 

No matter your vaccination status, the CDC no longer recommends those who come in close contact with people with the coronavirus to quarantine, but they should get tested within five days. Also, contact tracing should only be done in high-risk groups like hospitals or nursing homes.  

“If you’re exposed, even if you’re vaccinated, they ask that you wear a mask,” Nurse Jennifer Gutowski, Associate Director for Infection Prevention at Rochester Regional Health, said. “But there’s no requirement as there had been previously to stay out of the community if you’re unvaccinated. They’re no longer focused on the social distancing six feet apart.”  

Those who test positive for Covid are still required to quarantine for five days, then you can go out in public while wearing a mask for another five days, if you feel symptom-free. Schools also don’t need to practice tests to stay anymore.  

“It still benefits folks to not be stuck at home for ten days,” Nurse Gutowski said. “So, right now if you’re five days into your illness and you’re asymptomatic for 24 hours and your symptoms are improved, you can go back into the community wearing a mask.”  

Data from the CDC shows Monroe and all neighboring counties have low covid community rates. Even with new cases popping up, fewer are leading to hospitalizations. So local healthcare providers believe it’s appropriate to adopt these new guidelines.  

“We have high levels of either vaccine or infection-induced immunity,” Nurse Gutowski added. “So, our community for the most part has had covid or been vaccinated. If you do get covid you have options for treatment as well. You have the ability to get a Monoclonal anti-body treatment or most recently a Paxlovid and Lagevrio anti-viral.” 

Research has shown that more recently people can experience rebound symptoms. Which is when you come out of quarantine but experience serious illness again from catching Covid. If so, talk to your doctor and start quarantining again.