The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its guidance both for people exposed to and people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus in charge of the ongoing pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019.
For much of 2020, how and when exactly the virus was still contagious was largely unknown, as scientists were dealing with the fallout of a virus that transmits pre-symptomatically through the air. Quarantine and isolation periods were 14 days for that year, and then with updated guidance in the winter of 2021, the quarantine/isolation period was changed to 10 days.
Now it's been scaled back to five.
And people are NOT happy.
“Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the omicron variant," the Center said,
"CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to five days, if asymptomatic, followed by five days of wearing a mask when around others."
The timing of this rather unfortunately came when the CEO of Delta Airlines asked the agency to shorten quarantine times for vaccinated people with breakthrough cases.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 is currently the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind cancer and heart disease. With a death toll of over 800,000 people and a shockingly large amount of Americans remaining unvaccinated, the CDC's decision is seen as being against public health rather than for it.
However, the agency also adapted its guidance and says that even people fully vaccinated with the original series should quarantine for five days if exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Previous guidance indicated that fully vaccinated people did not have to quarantine upon exposure.
In 2020, a year rocked by the pandemic, many Americans lost faith in public institutions due to the United States' poor response to the spread of the virus.
Even close to two years later, that trust is not so easily re-earned.