NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The CDC released new guidance Monday about COVID quarantine time. However, the changing guidelines are leaving a lot of folks confused.

New CDC guidance said those who test positive for COVID now only have to quarantine for five days after becoming symptomatic. The CDC said a patient could leave isolation on day five if they have no symptoms or resolve them. Then, that patient has to mask up around others for another five days.

"The big thing is now, quarantine and isolation goes down by five days," Dr. Alex Jahangir said. "It is good news to a lot of people where the 10 days is really hard."

Jahangir, the head of Metro's COVID Task Force, said the guidance is changing as Omicron is becoming the more dominant strain.

"People within the first three to five days of being exposed will know if they actually have contracted the disease," Jahangir said. "And your infective period appears to be less than the previous versions of coronavirus."

Jahangir acknowledged that the changing guidelines are controversial.

"I think some people are anxious that these recommendations are being made now as we are seeing a shortage of healthcare workers and other essential individuals like airline workers," Jahangir said. "The people who want to use science which by definition evolves and changes as more information comes out and say, 'Oh I told you so. This is a hoax.' They are disingenuous."

Jahangir said people don't need to be more concerned now than they have been over the past two years. Those vaccinated and boosted do reasonably well with this variant. Jahangir added that if it's true that Omicron is less deadly than Delta, it may be a positive sign moving forward.

"My hope is as more people get vaccinated, as more people develop immunity, as these viruses mutate to less virulent strands each go around, perhaps it will be endemic in the near future," Jahangir said.

According to the CDC, "data from South Africa and the United Kingdom demonstrate that vaccine effectiveness against infection for two doses of an mRNA vaccine is approximately 35%. A COVID-19 vaccine booster dose restores vaccine effectiveness against infection to 75%."

The complete guidance from the CDC for those who test positive and those exposed to someone with COVID can be found here is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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