CDC shortens COVID quarantine period
President Biden now says it's 'up to the states' to deal with COVID
The nation has gone from 14-day quarantines to stop the spread in 2020 to five days in the waning days of 2021. At the same time, President Joe Biden said that there is “no federal solution” for COVID and it’s a problem that should be handled by individual states.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has announced they are altering COVID quarantine guidance from ten days to five. Here are the basic changes:
Persons who have had a booster do not need to quarantine if exposed but the CDC says they should still wear a mask for 10 days.
Asymptomatic COVID-19 infections, unvaccinated persons, or those who have not had a booster should isolate for five days and then wear a mask for another five days.
“The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society. CDC’s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on Monday.
Walensky went on to say “These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives. Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather.”
The CDC press statement says the update “is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.”
According to the CDC, two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are only 35% effective against omicron, but the CDC claims a booster dose increases that effectiveness to 75%.
The CDC’s updated guidance comes as businesses and industries like hospitals and airlines are experiencing severe staffing shortages because of vaccine mandates and a rise in the number of positive omicron tests.
The news also follows Biden stating there is “no federal solution” to COVID and that states are now on their own to deal with the virus. Biden made the remarks as he was holding a call with governors from around the country. After the call, he then departed for his Delaware beach house.
Biden campaigned on “shutting down the virus,” which is now being called the “Lie of the Year” by some outlets, and Republicans were quick to draw the comparison.
Additionally, Biden’s main attempt at a federal response has been via vaccine mandates for employers federal and private.
Biden’s vaccine mandates have faced increasing legal challenges across the country from lawmakers, states attorneys general, and employers since first announced.
Oral arguments on Biden’s employer vaccine mandates will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in a special session on Jan. 7, 2022.
The vaccine mandates have also been met with resistance, including among U.S. Military forces. Just this past week, it was reported that 169 Marines have been removed from the service for refusing to be vaccinated.
In related news, a few days before Christmas a Navy ship that docked at the Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay for refueling had a COVID outbreak onboard - amongst a fully vaccinated crew.
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