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CDC: People who test positive for Covid without any symptoms should only self-isolate for five days | Coronavirus

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U.S. health officials have halved the recommended isolation time for people with asymptomatic Covid to five days.

The United States is facing a huge increase in Covid cases, fueled by the Omicron variant, which has contributed to the Christmas travel chaos and fueled concerns about damage to the economy and education.

An expert told the New York Times: “All 50 states are in the soup at the same time. It’s like every state is hit by a viral hurricane.

But in a statement on Monday, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the new recommendations “balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and doses of reminder”.

The CDC said after isolation, asymptomatic people should wear a mask around others for an additional five days.

It also recommended a five-day quarantine for those exposed when they were not vaccinated, more than six months from their second dose, or more than two months from a single-dose injection of Johnson & Johnson and not yet boosted.

“These updates ensure that people can safely continue with their daily lives,” Walensky said.

The move has proven to be controversial. Michel Mina, an epidemiologist, called the new recommendation “imprudent”.

“Some people stay contagious for three days, others for 12. I absolutely don’t want to sit next to someone who tested positive five days ago and hasn’t tested negative. Testing negative to leave isolation early is just smart.

“I am 100% for getting people out of isolation early. Heck, I officially recommended it to the CDC in May 2020 and published the recommendation in the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases in April 2020. But it was still with a negative test. What the hell are we doing here? “

Others stressed the need to avoid significant disruptions to daily life.

Ashish Jha, Dean of the School of Public Health at Brown University, noted: “You isolate yourself for five days. Now you feel good (you are asymptomatic). You still have to wear a mask for five more days. Do I prefer an additional negative antigen test? Sure. I said the same. But that seems reasonable enough.

Earlier, Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser launched another controversial proposal: a vaccine warrant for domestic air travel.

Amid cancellations caused in part by Omicron, Anthony Fauci said a warrant could give stronger protection to thefts, for which federal regulations require all people two years of age and older to wear a mask.

“When you make vaccination a requirement, it’s another incentive to get more people vaccinated,” Fauci told MSNBC. “If you want to do this with domestic flights, I think this is something that should be seriously considered.”

Two officials told Associated Press advisers had yet to make a recommendation because a warrant could trigger logistical and legal problems.

The United States requires that most foreign nationals traveling to the United States be fully immunized. Citizens and permanent residents only need to show proof of a negative test. Federal rules do not require people traveling to the United States to do so. Hawaii requires a test or proof of vaccination.

At the White House, Biden told reporters the matter had been discussed with governors.

“They asked Dr. Fauci whether or not he thought he was going to move out to test at home – I mean, on air flights and that sort of thing,” Biden said.

Biden has pledged full federal support for states facing Omicron and a series of tests.

“My message is, if you need anything, say something, and we’ll support you in any way we can,” Biden said.

“Seeing how difficult it was for some people to take a test this weekend shows that we have more work to do,” he said, referring to his plan to make the tests fast over 500m. available from next month via a website yet to be developed. .

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has raised concerns that Biden’s plan could hamper the state’s efforts. Biden said the federal effort will not interfere. A White House official said new tests would come from new manufacturing capability.

Earlier this year, the White House explored a national vaccination requirement for flights, or requiring a vaccination or a negative test. Officials expected legal challenges.

The CDC says more than 241 million Americans, or about 77% of the eligible population aged five and over, have received at least one injection. The administration instituted requirements that federal workers, contractors, and healthcare professionals get vaccinated, and that companies with 100 or more employees have vaccination or testing mandates.

These movements have been mired in legal wrangling. The Supreme Court is due to hear arguments on January 7.

Such legal steps are likely to occur amid more distressing scenes nationwide.

Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told The Times that the national character of Omicron’s push meant resources would be stretched and healthcare workers would be hit hard.

“We’re already so stretched out,” he said.

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