CDC justifies shorter isolation — Analysis

The health agency says the guidelines were shortened so the public would ‘tolerate’ them

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said the agency had halved its recommended quarantine time based on what the public would “tolerate.” It had also been under pressure from airlines.

The new guidelines, which were released Monday, recommend that anyone testing positive for Covid-19 isolate be kept in isolation for 5 days rather than the previous 10 recommendations. Once a person’s symptoms are resolving, they are not asked to test negative to leave isolation, but should wear a mask for another five days. 

These are the new guidelines “really had a lot to do with what we thought people would be able to tolerate,”Walensky stated Wednesday that he spoke for CNN.

“We have seen relatively low rates of isolation for all of this pandemic,”She explained and added that “some science has demonstrated less than a third of people are isolating when they need to,”The new advice was to do something. “that people were willing to adhere to.”

CDC says it exaggerated Omicron’s spread

Covid-19 cases have exploded amid the widespread spread of Omicron, a highly transmissible variant of coronavirus. According to CDC data, there were 431,000 cases recorded Wednesday. Walensky explained to CNN that many cases of Covid-19 are either mild or not symptomatic. “would not necessarily tolerate being home, and they may not comply with being home.”

Delta Air Lines contacted Walensky a week before the CDC released its updated guidelines to request that the recommended quarantine length be reduced to just five days. Delta claimed that Omicron, a benign coronavirus strain, was more common than the CDC’s new guidelines and added that its 90% workforce had been fully vaccinated. “exacerbate shortages and create significant disruptions,”As staff might not be well enough for work, they would have to stay home.

Over the weekend, thousands were delayed and cancelled due to staff shortages. Numerous international and US airlines were also affected. In the days after Delta’s approach to Walensky, other airlines joined in the call for a five-day isolation period, echoing the concerns about shortages and disruptions.

Although the CDC claimed that the change was due to scientific research showing Covid-19 is most susceptible to spreading it within the first few days of symptoms appearing, the agency still faced accusations from airlines for bowing to pressure. 

“We said we wanted to hear from medical professionals on the best guidance for quarantine, not from corporate America advocating for a shortened period due to staffing shortages,”The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA released a statement on Tuesday.

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