The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shortened the isolation period for those with COVID-19 who are asymptotic to five days down from 10 days as the highly contagious omicron variant spreads across the state and country.

The five day quarantine should be followed by five additional days of mask wearing when in public, the agency says.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balanced what was known about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses.

“These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives. Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the state was following the “data and science-based public health policy” and that the isolation period for New York’s critical workforce would be shortened from 10 to 5 days for everyone who was asymptomatic, as long as they wore a well-fitting mask.

“This is a critical step to support our small businesses, critical industries, and essential services as we get through this new variant.”

The news comes as New York City offers $100 incentive payments to those who receive a booster at a City-run site up until Dec. 31. The $100 pre-paid debit cards are mailed within 5 days of getting a booster dose.

To find a vaccination site near you, click here.

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