The National Public Health Agency was recently scrutinized for its new guideline on reducing the isolation period for persons with COVID who have not had symptoms in five to ten days on Monday, Dec. 27, 2021. After the five days, people in quarantine will not need to be tested to determine that they are no longer infectious.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said “People are most infectious in the one to two days before symptoms develop and the two to three days followed. After five days, the risk of ongoing transmission decreases.”
The recent spike in COVID-19 cases, fueled by the Omicron variant, also influenced the decision.
According to preliminary studies, Omicron may produce milder infections than previous coronavirus strains. Experts predict that hospitals, airlines, and other businesses will continue to close due to this.
Following the announcement, Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, spoke with reporters on why the CDC revised its recommendations.
“The reason is that with the sheer volume of new cases that we are having and that we expect to continue with omicron, one of the things we want to be careful of is that we don’t have so many people out. I mean, obviously, if you have symptoms you should be out, but if you are asymptomatic and you are infected we want to get people back to jobs — particularly those with essential jobs to keep our society running smoothly,” Fauci told CNN’s Jim Acosta.
According to the CDC, people who have not been completely vaccinated and have had close contact with an infected individual should stay at home for at least ten days.
Now, only persons who obtain a booster dose can bypass quarantine if they wear a mask for at least ten days in all situations.
That’s quite a shift. People who were fully inoculated – defined by the CDC as two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine – were previously exempt from quarantine.
People who received the initial vaccination but not the follow-up vaccination are now in the same condition as those who were partially or fully vaccinated: they can leave quarantine after five days if they wear a mask at all facilities for the next five days.