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Updated CDC COVID guidelines remove distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated

ABC 11 Raleigh NC logo ABC 11 Raleigh NC 8/12/2022 WTVD

The Centers for Disease Control gave unvaccinated people much of the same treatment as vaccinated people in their updated guidance Thursday.

COVID transmission shows Wake, Johnston, Wilson and Franklin Counties are still at medium risk but all of the other counties in the ABC11 viewing area are still at high risk.

"We just have to continue to go ahead and listen to scientists, listen to the data that's coming out," said Yvonne Reza.

Reza works at a local health department, and her 12-year-old son battles with asthma and continues to wear his mask in school.

"I'm all for vaccination prevention, you can go ahead and go and follow CDC guidelines," she said.

The CDC said they're trying to shift more of the responsibility from institutions to individuals.

If you are exposed to COVID and you're not vaccinated, you don't have to isolate so this ends the difference between vaccinated and not vaccinated.

If you are exposed to COVID and want to take a test before leaving quarantine, you should wait at least five days to do so or if you've been "fever-free" for a day.

The new guidance also drops the "test to stay" recommendation which states students exposed to COVID had to test regularly to continue going to class.

The new guidelines also deemphasizes the concept of social distancing.

"We have to keep in mind we're losing 500 people a day due to COVID which is the third leading cause of death in the United States," said infectious diseases physician at UNC Health Dr. David Weber.

He believes the recommendations are consistent with what everyone is willing to accept right now.

"We have to learn how to protect ourselves and our loved ones, but we also have to resume a reasonable, normal life and earn a living and have our kids go to school," Weber said.

The recommendations from the CDC have been in the works for months. The agency is making changes now because vaccination and prior infections have given 95% of Americans some degree of protection.

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