Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate for five days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The five-day isolation period is recommended for those who have tested positive regardless of their vaccination status or whether they have symptoms or not. This is not enough time to be isolated and it should be extended for five more days for an individual’s well-being.
As someone who is vaccinated and who tested positive for COVID-19 during the winter break, my experience was unpleasant because of the symptoms that I had, which were a cold and loss of taste and smell. Once I received my COVID-19 results, my 10-day isolation began in my bedroom.
The COVID-19 cases have risen in Sacramento County, and a 10-day isolation is preferable instead of a five-day one because you can keep yourself safe, as well as those who live in your household.
This is even more important in Cosumnes River College community since the Sacramento zip code 95823, where campus is located, has the highest COVID cases of 12,218, according to a Sacramento County COVID-19 zip code tracker.
During my isolation, my symptoms started to improve as the days went by. However, there were some days where I had to leave my room to go speak to my family members. I kept my distance from them and wore a mask to lower the risk of spreading the infection.
After my isolation period ended, I continued to wear a mask in my house. It was beneficial for my safety because I was protecting myself from my family members.
My parents are elderly and the risk of them catching COVID would be heartbreaking because I care about their health and one of them has a serious medical condition and COVID would make it terrible for them. I knew it was safer to spend five more days in isolation because of their age.
If an individual has access to a COVID-19 test and wants to get tested, the best approach is to use an antigen test toward the end of the five-day isolation period and if the result is positive, you should continue to isolate until day 10, according to the CDC.gov.
Although many people have intentions to self-isolate, both isolation and quarantine are challenging, especially since many infections are asymptomatic and studies suggest that only a small percentage of people, 25-30%, isolate for a full 10 days, according to the CDC.gov.
Even if you start to feel better after five days of isolation, an additional five days can be valuable to make sure you are fully recovered.
Some hospitals are choosing not to reduce isolation periods for staff, even when worker shortages are leading to cancellations of procedures, according to Politico news.
The University of Michigan Health had more than 500 members tested positive for COVID and more than 200 surgeries have been postponed since December due to staffing and bed shortages, according to All About Ann Arbor news.
A spokesperson has said that Michigan Health maintained its 10-day isolation requirement for employees who test positive and it doesn’t plan to change its policy, according to Politico news.
A 10-day isolation can be useful because if symptoms do not improve within the five-day period, the extra five days gives you more time to heal or go to the hospital if your symptoms become severe.
I feel energized having a 10-day isolation because I can get more rest and monitor my symptoms carefully. It is good to be a little cautious and have those extra days so that I do not have to worry about infecting others.