The CDC is considering revising current guidelines for COVID-19 test requirements and isolation amid pushback from the latest round of revisions.
Speaking with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday’s ABC This Week, the nation’s top leading infectious disease expert, 81, revealed that the CDC is now considering adding testing as part of its revised COVID-19 guidelines for asymptomatic individuals, or those who have been in close contact with someone COVID positive — nearly a week after the agency cut the recommended isolation time from 10 days down to five.
Fauci admitted that “there has been some concern” about why asymptomatic yet infected individuals are given the green light to re-enter the public domain after less than a week without testing negative for the virus first.
While prior guidelines recommended infected people self-isolate for 10 days, Fauci said, “The CDC decided that they would cut that down to five days if the person remains asymptomatic, so long as when they do go out in the second five days of that 10-day period, back to work or back into society, that they diligently wear a mask.”
But after public concern over the lack of testing requirement and questioning over whether COVID-positive individuals will in fact “diligently wear a mask,” Fauci reassured viewers that testing is “now under consideration.”
“The CDC is very well aware that there has been some pushback about that. Looking at it again, there may be an option in that, that testing could be a part of that,” he said. “I think we’re going to be hearing more about that in the next day or so from the CDC.”
The CDC announced its relaxed COVID guidelines last month. Days later, a record-shattering amount of cases in the U.S. — more than 488,000 in a single day — were reported, and health experts found the highly transmissible omicron variant to be the dominant strain.
On Wednesday, CDC director Rochelle Wolensky defended the agency’s reasoning behind the change — both on CBS Mornings and CNN’s New Day— sharing that health officials hope the updated guidelines will make it easier for people to willingly isolate themselves.
“We really do need people to follow these recommendations for them to work. But I would also say that those people who are not masking, who are out and about, are probably not the ones isolating either,” she noted. “So what we really wanted to do is make sure that these recommendations were more easily followed. We don’t want them out and about when they are maximally infectious.”
We understand the changes, but quite frankly we’re tired. We’re ready for this pandemic to be over.