CDC Defends New COVID Guidance as Doctors Raise Concerns

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Jan. 5, 2022 – The CDC’s precocious updated guidance connected isolating and investigating were tied to the public’s accrued involvement successful testing, Director Rochelle Walenksy, MD, said during a White House briefing successful Wednesday.

Health officials precocious shortened the recommended COVID-19 isolation and quarantine play from 10 days to 5, creating disorder amid an outbreak of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, which present accounts for 95% of cases successful the U.S.

Then, successful slightly updated guidance, the CDC recommended utilizing an at-home antigen trial aft 5 days of isolation if possible, adjacent though these tests having aren’t arsenic delicate to the Omicron variant, according to the FDA.

“After we released our recs aboriginal past week, it became precise wide radical were funny successful utilizing the accelerated test, though not authorized for this intent aft the extremity of their isolation period,” Walensky said. “We past provided guidance connected however they should beryllium used.”

“If that trial is negative, radical truly bash request to recognize they indispensable proceed to deterioration their disguise for those 5 days,” Walensky said.

But for many, the CDC guidelines murky and look to ever change.

“Nearly 2 years into this pandemic, with Omicron cases surging crossed the country, the American radical should beryllium capable to number connected the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for timely, accurate, wide guidance to support themselves, their loved ones, and their communities,” American Medical Association president Gerald Harmon, MD, said successful a statement. “Instead, the caller recommendations connected quarantine and isolation are not lone confusing, but are risking further dispersed of the virus.”

About 31% of radical stay infectious 5 days aft a affirmative COVID-19 test, Harmon said, quoting the CDC’s ain rationale for changing its guidance.

“With hundreds of thousands of caller cases regular and much than a cardinal affirmative reported cases connected January 3, tens of thousands – perchance hundreds of thousands of radical – could instrumentality to enactment and schoolhouse infectious if they travel the CDC’s caller guidance connected ending isolation aft 5 days without a antagonistic test,” helium said. “Physicians are acrophobic that these recommendations enactment our patients astatine hazard and could further overwhelm our wellness attraction system.”

Instead, Harmon said a antagonistic trial should beryllium necessitate for ending isolation.

“Reemerging without knowing one’s presumption unnecessarily risks further transmission of the virus,” helium said.

Meanwhile, besides during the White House briefing, officials said that aboriginal information continues to amusement that Omicron infections are little terrible than those from different variants, but skyrocketing cases volition inactive enactment a strain connected the wellness attraction system.

“The large caveat is we should not beryllium complacent,” statesmanlike Chief Medical Adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, said a White House briefing Wednesday.

He added that Omicron “could inactive accent our infirmary strategy due to the fact that a definite proportionality of a ample measurement of cases, nary substance what, are going to beryllium severe.”

Cases proceed to summation greatly. This week’s 7-day regular mean of infections is 491,700 -- an summation of 98% implicit past week, Walensky said. Hospitalizations, portion lagging down lawsuit numbers, are inactive rising significantly: The regular mean is 14,800 admissions, up 63% from past week. Daily deaths this week are 1,200, an summation of lone 5%.

Walensky continues to promote vaccinations, boosters, and different precautions.

“Vaccines and boosters are protecting radical from the terrible and tragic outcomes that tin hap from COVID-19 infection,” she said. “Get vaccinated and get boosted if eligible, deterioration a mask, enactment location erstwhile you’re sick, and instrumentality a trial if you person symptoms oregon are looking for greater reassurance earlier you stitchery with others.”

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