But the CDC ultimately decided not to do so, with scientists pointing to data that shows individuals are less likely to transmit the virus after five days. The agency updated its isolation and quarantine instruction webpage on Tuesday with language that clarifies the science behind its decision.
“Accumulating evidence shows that the majority of transmission occurs during the early periods of infection,” the CDC said, adding that the agency also considered “the societal impact” when deciding shorten the period of isolation and quarantine. “The spread of the Omicron variant has the potential to exacerbate staff shortages and increase supply chain challenges, putting industry, education and other systems critical to sustaining at risk. of a functioning society and economy. “
The CDC also noted that studies suggest that only 25 to 30 percent of people isolated for the full 10 days previously recommended by the agency.
Tuesday’s decision comes after weeks of deliberations within the CDC and among White House officials of Covid-19 on how to handle the recent surge in Omicron and Delta cases, and hospitalizations, according to two senior officials from the Biden’s health. As the winter push intensified, officials questioned whether to invoke stricter public health guidelines to reduce the number of cases and whether it was safe for Americans who tested positive to return to normal lives more quickly. than in previous outbreaks, those officials said.
In meetings on whether to add a testing recommendation to the CDC’s guidelines, agency officials said they discussed the possibility of recommending that individuals get a negative test before breaking isolation and quarantine. Americans across the country are still struggling to get their hands on Covid-19 testing, with a few hours of waiting in queues for swabs. With a limited supply, public health officials have worried about Americans’ ability to find a test to pass before resuming normal life on day six.
In its updated language, the CDC mentioned the tests only to say that if people want a test and have access to it, they should use an antigen test towards the end of the five-year isolation or quarantine period. days, but warned that “a negative antigen test does not necessarily indicate the absence of transmissible virus. If Americans do receive a positive test, the CDC recommends that individuals self-isolate until the end of the test. 10 day period.
“Tests for [Covid-19] … Are not authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assess the duration of infectivity, ”the CDC added. “Some people can stay positive… long beyond the expected infectious period.