Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on CBS Mornings on Friday that the CDC did not revolve its recommendations around isolating Covid-19., Rather, it provided guidance for those who chose to perform an antigen test.
“I remind you, isolation is for people who have tested positive,” he said, when asked about the changes to the isolation guide. “We now have dozens of articles that are now on our CDC website that we have revised to update this guide in the context of the science and epidemiology of our time.”
He said that one to two days before infection and two to three days after symptoms are known to be the time when a person is most infectious. By day five, after symptoms, “most of that contagiousness, that contagiousness is really behind,” he said.
“That’s where we really say: Do you have symptoms? If your symptoms improve, it’s safe to go out as long as you wear a mask all the time, ”he said. “What we’ve heard over the last week is that a lot of people were interested in using an antigen test, they had access to the antigen test.”
“So we didn’t change our recommendations, what we did was provide guidance on how you would use and interpret that antigen test, if you wanted to go the extra step to get one,” he said. “And that is, if it’s positive, stay home. And if it’s negative, keep wearing your mask, because that doesn’t mean it’s no longer contagious. ”
When asked if testing would be required before leaving isolation if testing were widely available and access was not an issue, Walensky said that “we require testing to come out of quarantine, with quarantine being this period of time after we have been exposed. What I do want to say is that we have to provide guidance that, you know, is based on science, that is based on the epidemiology of our current moment in time and that can be implemented at the state and local jurisdictional levels. ”
“If they can’t get tested, they have to wear a mask,” Walensky said, when asked what people who couldn’t get tested after five days of isolation should do. “And that’s really what our guide says, isolate yourself for those first five days, after those first five days, make sure you feel better, if you feel better then you can really get out, but you need to get out.” and you need to wear your mask all the time. ”
Walensky also addressed criticism of the communication of the guidelines, saying “we are working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 12,000 people to keep America safe, to update our guide in the context of really advancing science. fast and really fast-moving epidemiology. We have space, we can improve our communications on how we convey that science to the American people. We will continue to do so. We have received some criticism, but we have also received quite a bit of support for these new guidelines. ”