The federal health organization now recognizes that testing everyone is a bad idea, 2.5 years after it was first proposed. Now, the new CDC COVID guidelines throw out quarantine and allow for benefits of natural immunity.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday released new COVID-19 guidelines that made hints at future relaxing of COVID “travel” regulations while also subtly acknowledging the value of innate immunity.
According to updated recommendations issued by the CDC on Thursday, anyone exposed to someone with COVID-19 do not need to quarantine themselves if they do not exhibit any signs.
The CDC also stated that certain individuals have a low chance of infection because of innate immunity and that COVID is probably here to stay, just like other illnesses like the flu. The “who are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines” and the “who are up to date on COVID-19 vaccines” are treated equally under the new guidelines.
The health organization nevertheless continues to advise everyone to be immunized.
“This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives,” CDC official Greta Massetti stated in the Thursday announcement.
The CDC now advises that “instead of quarantining if you were exposed to COVID-19, you wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 5.” Several studies have thrown into doubt the efficiency of using masks to prevent virus transmission.
In addition, the CDC no longer advises “screening testing of asymptomatic people without known exposures… in most community settings.” A few universities, for instance, mandated students to be assessed at least once a week, if not more frequently.
The six-foot social distancing standard has also been abandoned; the CDC now advises that “physical distance is just one component of how to protect yourself and others.”
“It is important to consider the risk in a particular setting, including local COVID-19 Community Levels and the important role of ventilation, when assessing the need to maintain physical distance,” the CDC says.
“In the coming weeks CDC will work to align stand-alone guidance documents, such as those for healthcare settings, congregate settings at higher risk of transmission, and travel, with today’s update,” the CDC announced.
One medical expert who disagreed with the CDC’s COVID limits said that his views were finally being taken into consideration.
“The CDC guidance to end mass asymptomatic testing is a big deal, though it comes a full 2 years too late,” Stanford University medical Professor Jay Bhattacharya wrote on Twitter. “If your child is going on a field trip and has no symptoms and is forced to test, make sure to let the authorities know that they are violating CDC guidelines.”
He included a link to an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal from September 2020 that he co-authored with Harvard epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff and made the case against asymptomatic bulk testing, particularly for adolescents and young adults.
“There is little purpose in using tests to check asymptomatic children to see if it is safe for them to come to school. When children are infected, most are asymptomatic, and the mortality risk is lower than for the flu,” the pair wrote. “While adult-to-adult and adult-to-child transmission is common, child-to-adult transmission isn’t. Children thus pose minimal risk to their teachers. If a child has a cough, a runny nose or other respiratory symptoms, he should stay home. You don’t need a test for that.”