Dean of the College of Health & Natural Sciences featured in Healthline: What to Know About the New Isolation Guidelines from the CDC
Jan 7, 2022
What to Know About the New Guidelines from the CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised quarantine guidance to shorten the recommended period of isolation after infection with COVID-19 from 10 days to 5 days. “Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation for the public,” the CDC said in the statement.
Isolation restrictions for people who test positive for COVID-19, yet remain asymptomatic, were reduced from 10 to only 5 days. The agency also shortened the necessary quarantine time for people who have been in close contact with COVID-positive individuals. Absent from the guidelines was any sort of testing requirement to leave isolation.
Still too early to let our guard down, expert warns
“Empirical data, including public health statistics and peer-reviewed research, indicate that Omicron causes less severe illness than prior COVID-19 variants,” said Priscilla Marsicovetere, JD, PA-C, Dean of the College of Health & Natural Sciences at Franklin Pierce University.
She added that although this is encouraging news, the Omicron surge is still having severe effects.
“The fact remains that infections are still occurring, healthcare systems are still being stressed, communities are still affected, and people are still dying from COVID-19,” said Marsicovetere. “That means we cannot let our guards down.”
She explained that the potential impact on our society from additional surges, or more importantly, further mutations of the coronavirus, could have “devastating impacts” on the progress made in containing the impact of COVID-19.
“We are not out of the woods yet. Public health safety measures, including vaccination, masks, and physical distancing when appropriate, are still key steps in our ongoing fight against COVID-19,” she said.
The bottom line
Responding to criticism, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has changed their reduced isolation guidance. However, the agency still maintains people who have COVID-19 can leave isolation after 5 days even if they have not tested negative if a test is unavailable.
Experts say that although Omicron variant appears to be less severe than previous variants, the high number of cases could still overwhelm healthcare services and this is not the time to let our guard down. They also say that measures including vaccination, masks, and physical distancing remain crucial in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
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