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CDC Reduces Quarantine Period for Healthcare Workers as the U.S. Braces from the Heavily Contagious Omicron Variant

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines for the United States, healthcare workers who test positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic may return to work after seven days in isolation, provided they test negative.

CDC shortens quarantine time for healthcare workers (Photo DailyBreeze)

In response to the outbreak of Omicron, the CDC issued weaker temporary government recommendations on isolation durations for healthcare workers.

The CDC Guidelines

Due to the enhanced transmissibility of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, this recommendation is being amended to enhance protection for healthcare staff (HCP), patients, and visitors, as well as to address concerns about possible systemic consequences in the case of a SARS-CoV-2 infection spike.

CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement that as the healthcare industry braces for an expected rise in patients owing to Omicron, the CDC is modifying its vaccine and booster dosage guidelines to match current knowledge regarding infection and exposure. Moreover, Walensky also added her statements saying “I strongly encourage all healthcare personnel to get vaccinated and boosted,” because Walensky’s goal is to ensure the safety of healthcare professionals and patients, as well as to address and avoid unnecessary strain on our healthcare facilities.

Additionally, healthcare professionals who have received all prescribed COVID-19 vaccine doses, including a booster, are not required to confine themselves to their homes after high-risk exposures. Furthermore, the CDC advice modification comes only days after Chief White House Medical Advisor Anthony Fauci said that the United States was contemplating lowering the 10-day quarantine period for asymptomatic health care workers. Although comparable concessions are being sought in other areas, the new directive presently applies primarily to healthcare employees.

Delta Authorities and Airlines for America also Petitioned

Delta CEO Ed Bastian and Airlines for America have petitioned the CDC to reduce the quarantine period for persons who are completely vaccinated yet have breakthrough COVID-19 infections.

Instead of ten days, Delta authorities and Airlines for America proposed isolating fully vaccinated patients for just five days after the onset of symptoms.