CDC Relaxes Quarantine Policy For COVID-Infected Health Care Workers

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced a shorter instructed quarantine interval for some well being care staff who’ve examined optimistic for COVID-19, saying Thursday that staff who’re asymptomatic ought to have the ability to return to work after seven days of isolation, shortened from 10, and a unfavorable coronavirus check.

The new pointers additionally state that “isolation time can be cut further if there are staffing shortages” and that well being care staff who’ve obtained all vaccine doses, together with a booster, don’t have to quarantine after a high-risk publicity.

“As the healthcare community prepares for an anticipated surge in patients due to Omicron, CDC is updating our recommendations to reflect what we know about infection and exposure in the context of vaccination and booster doses,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, stated in a statement.

“Our priority remains prevention, she added, “and I strongly encourage all healthcare personnel to get vaccinated and boosted.”

The choice comes as scientists piece collectively new details about the omicron variant of COVID-19, which is now the dominant pressure within the U.S. This week, three separate analysis groups all over the world launched findings that omicron infections lead to gentle sickness extra typically than with earlier strains. Studies have additionally proven that the third doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines could supply vital protection in opposition to the omicron variant.

But simply 62% of Americans are fully vaccinated and even much less have gotten the booster shot, so hospitals anticipate needing as many staff as doable to deal with an inflow of latest circumstances, particularly following widespread vacation journey and household gatherings, consultants have warned.

At least one group representing well being care staff has come out in opposition to the brand new CDC coverage. National Nurses United, one of many nation’s largest group of registered nurses, issued an announcement saying the rules had been “in effect guaranteeing more transmission” in hospitals.

“Weakening Covid-19 guidance now, in the face of what could be the most devastating Covid-19 surge yet, will only result in further transmission, illness, and death,” the group’s president, Zenei Triunfo-Cortez, stated in an announcement.

The CDC additionally just lately endorsed “test-to-stay” insurance policies for faculties, letting college students who’ve been uncovered to the virus stay in lecture rooms in the event that they check unfavorable. Research into such insurance policies within the Chicago and Los Angeles areas discovered viral infections didn’t enhance when utilizing that strategy.

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