CDC Director Explains New Covid-19

The new Covid-19 quarantine and isolation guidelines were driven by scientific research and what Americans would likely tolerate, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.

They come as doctors expect the rise in the Christmas coronavirus, fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant, to worsen after New Year’s Eve. The average number of daily Covid-19 cases in the US reached 265,427 on Tuesday, a new pandemic record, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In a guide issued this week, the CDC said:
Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19, regardless of vaccination status, can stop self-isolating after five days if they have no symptoms or if theirĀ  as long as they also wear a mask around the others for the next five days.

Recently vaccinated or boosted people who were exposed to someone with Covid-19 do not need to self-quarantine as long as they don’t have symptoms. (But they should wear a mask around other people for 10 days and try to get tested five days after exposure. Unvaccinated people and those who received vaccinations some time ago and were exposed to someone with Covid-19 should be quarantined for five days after exposure. This covers people who received their last dose of the vaccine more than six months ago and have not been boosted.

A single injection of Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago and have not received a booster. (Everyone in this category should also try to get tested five days after exposure and wear a mask around others for the next five days.) Many have asked why the CDC reduced isolation times for some people with Covid-19, but did not recommend conducting a test to confirm if they were still infected. PCR and antigen tests are not always good indicators of whether a person is still contagious, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky Wednesday.

What we do know is that the PCR test after infection can be positive for up to 12 weeks, so it is not going to help. You’re not going to be broadcasting for that entire period of time, “Walensky told NBC. So the question is, why not do a five-day antigen test? We know that some people at five days will be negative and will still be able to transmit. We also know that some people will be positive and will still be able to transmit transmit,” he said. So the antigen test was not really licensed for this purpose, and your information will not be helpful.