The United States Shortens the Recommended Isolation and Quarantine Period for the Population

The advance of omicron variant Coronavirus has led the United States to change its isolation recommendations in cases of contagion and exposure to covid-19 and to rethink other measures, such as presenting proof of vaccination on domestic flights.

Yesterday afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC, for its acronym in English) confirmed the modification suggested that same morning by both the president, Joe Biden, as by the main government epidemiologist, Antoni fauci, Y published new recommendations reduce the isolation time of asymptomatic patients in case of infection, which goes from ten to five days.

Most infections occur early in the illness, in the first and second days of symptoms, and two to three days later.

Until now, the US government was skeptical about changing the measures, but both Biden and Fauci have opened the door because the omicron seems to be more contagious than other covid-19 mutations, though also less serious.

The CDC argues that the change is driven by the scientific demonstration that most infections occur early in the disease, in the first and second days of symptoms, and two to three days later.

For this reason, people with a positive test should be isolated for five days if they are asymptomatic and, after this period, continue with the mask for another five days to minimize risk to infect others.

People with a positive test must be isolated for five days if they are asymptomatic and after this period continue with the mask for another five days

Before finding out about the decision, Fauci acknowledged on the same day of December 27 in the morning that “there are so many people who are getting infected, including people who are vaccinated”, and that is why he is studying to reduce the isolation time, as he has finally done.

5-day quarantine

The CDC has also updated its recommendations for quarantine of those who have been exposed to the disease – through contact with someone infected.

In case those exposed are unvaccinated people, who have been immunized for more than six months (or more than two in the case of the Janssen vaccine), they must also keep five day quarantine and spend another five with a strictly mask. Those who are vaccinated or recently boosted should spend ten days with the mask on at all times.

On the other hand, Fauci argued that it would be “reasonable to assess” the imposition of new vaccination requirements for domestic flights. So far, the US only asks proof of vaccination for travelers on international flights who are neither citizens nor permanent residents, although everyone must prove that the test was negative for coronaviruses.

However, on domestic flights there is no need to travel, but Fauci believes that asking for proof of vaccinations could make more Americans agree to have the injection.

Currently, the United States has a rate of vaccination 61%, which is low compared to other countries like Portugal (88%), Chile (87%) or Spain (90%).

Infection level similar to last winter

This decision comes at a time when the United States surpassed the infection levels recorded in the summer with the delta variant and reached the numbers of last winter, when the population was not yet vaccinated.

Specifically, in the last week (December 19th to 26th) an average of 203,000 per day was recorded, a level that had not been verified since January 19th, according to data from the The Washington Post.

Millions of Americans had a hard time getting a test this weekend, as in many states it was impossible to get an appointment.

Likewise, health officials warned that the United States could soon register more than one million new cases a day, far from the peak of 248,000 that was reached last winter.

But while cases soar, millions of Americans this weekend have had great difficulty getting an exam, as in many states it was impossible to get an appointment and, in addition, the antigen test homemade were sold out.


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