Americans around the country are already bewildered by the CDC's constantly-shifting quarantine guidelines. But for some reason, the agency feels the need to further complicate things with yet another change.
As schools struggle with empty classrooms after the winter break as teachers and students fill quarantine lists, and thousands of flights continue to be canceled, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that the agency is preparing to change its quarantine guidelines once again by adding that patients need a negative test result if they're asymptomatic and want to exit quarantine after just five days.
But for some reason, Dr. Anthony Fauci wants to further complicate things. To wit, the good doctor teased on Sunday that the CDC was considering allowing asymptomatic COVID sufferers to end isolation after just 5 days if they test negative.
Unfortunately, millions of Americans have already needed to end isolation and get back to work even without a test since tests are hard to come by the guidance from the CDC has encouraged people to get back to work to stop the economy from freezing up. Unions have criticized this change, saying it was designed to help employers and prevent staffing shortages over protecting people.
"There has been some concern about why we don't ask people at that five-day period to get tested," Fauci told ABC News. "That is something that is now under consideration"
According to the CDC, the decision would be "low risk" because the likelihood of passing COVID on falls dramatically after 5 days of infection. Also, the CDC is aware of the pushback about the change in isolation guidance, but Fauci told ABC News that despite this, the agency could announce something in the next couple of days.
During a later interview with CNN, Fauci said that it was "reasonable" to test infected people who have no symptoms during the second half of their quarantine.
"There's no doubt that you do want to get people out into the workplace if they are without symptoms," he told CNN. "There's a big picture of trying to do it in a way that is scientifically sound, but that also gets people back to work."
Dr. Fauci added that the CDC is expected to "clarify" its guidance soon.
Last week, American health officials cut the recommended isolation time to five days from 10, a decision that elicited complaints from some, and cheers from others (including the millions of asymptomatic patients who had been forced to isolate despite not being sick themselves). But apparently, Dr. Fauci has faced "pushback" over this decision.