Public Health

The U.S. is considering advising people exposed to Covid to stop isolation if they test negative for the virus after five days, says Dr. Fauci

A man is given a Covid-19 test at a Covid-19 testing center next to the Queens Hospital Center while hundreds of residents queues to take part in the 28th Country.

Tayfun Coskun | Agency Anadolu | Getty Images

The U.S. is considering advising people exposed to Covid to stop isolation if they test negative for the virus after five days, said U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, on Sunday.

The move could come after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received tough feedback last week for their decision to reduce Covid-19 isolation times for asymptomatic people from 10 to five days, even if the person remains positive has been tested.

“There have been some concerns about why we’re not asking people to get tested during this five-day period,” Fauci said on ABC’s This Week. “That is now being considered.”

“The CDC is well aware that there have been some setbacks in this regard. If you look at it again, there might be an option that testing could be part of it. And I think we will hear more about it.” the next day or so from the CDC, “he added.

“I myself think that’s a sensible thing,” said Fauci later in CNN’s State of the Union.

The updated guidelines come amid a surge in new Covid-19 cases, fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant. Some have criticized the move of putting business interests above science, as a surge in cases could exacerbate a nationwide labor shortage.

So far, U.S. health officials have defended the change.

“In the second half of the 10-day period, which would normally be a 10-day isolation period, the likelihood of portability in this second half is significantly lower. Because of this, the CDC ruled that it would be relatively small. “Risk taking people out,” Fauci told CNN.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky said last week that the agency avoided recommending isolation tests because science is unclear whether rapid antigen tests are a good indication of transferability. Now, PCR tests can show the disease for months.

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