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CDC Changes Guidelines
News Bytes 08/12/2022 13 Comments

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is the nation’s top public health agency. Yesterday, the CDC relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines by dropping certain recommendations, saying Americans no longer need to quarantine themselves or keep their distance from others after close contact with an infected person.

Officials say that more than 2 ½ years after the start of the pandemic, about 95% of Americans 16 and older have some level of immunity, from being either vaccinated or infected. The virus still exists, and new infections continue in the population.

However, “the current conditions of this pandemic are very different from those of the last two years,” says the CDC’s Greta Massetti, an author of the guidelines.

Masks continue to be recommended only in areas where community transmission is deemed high or if a person is considered at high risk of severe illness. This includes the elderly and those with compromised immune systems or other serious health conditions.

Many places around the country long ago abandoned social distancing and other once-common precautions. But some of yesterday’s changes could be important for schools, which resume classes this month in many parts of the country.

Even before the latest guidance, school districts across the country had scaled back COVID-19 precautions. Some have even promised a return to pre-pandemic schooling. For example, masks will be optional in most districts when classes resume. Some of the nation’s largest districts have dialed back or entirely eliminated testing requirements.

Public schools in Los Angeles are ending weekly COVID-19 tests, the district announced last week. Schools in North Carolina’s Wake County have also dropped weekly testing.

The new recommendations make keeping children in school a priority, says Joseph Allen, director of Harvard University’s healthy building program. He says previous isolation policies forced millions of students to stay home from school, even though the virus poses a relatively low risk to young people.

“Entire classrooms of kids had to miss school if they were deemed a close contact,” American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten says. “The closed schools and learning disruption have been devastating.”

Others contend the CDC is going too far in relaxing its guidelines.

Allowing students to return to school five days after infection, without proof of a negative COVID-19 test, could lead to outbreaks, says Anne Sosin, a public health researcher. That could force entire schools to close temporarily if teachers get sick in large numbers—a dilemma that some schools faced last year.

“All of us want a stable school year, but wishful thinking is not the strategy for getting there,” Sosin asserts.

The CDC previously said people not up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations should stay home for at least five days after close contact with a person testing positive. Now the agency says quarantining at home isn’t necessary. However, it does urge those people to wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested after five.

The agency continues to advise that people who test positive should isolate from others for at least five days, regardless of vaccination status.

Also on Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration updated its recommendations for how many times people exposed to COVID-19 should test. Previously, the FDA advised taking two rapid antigen tests over two or three days to rule out infection.

Now the agency recommends three tests. The change is based on new studies that suggest the old protocol can miss too many infections—and result in spreading the virus, especially if they don’t develop symptoms.

“After two years of uncertainty and disruption,” says educator Weingarten of the changes, “we need as normal a year as possible so we can focus like a laser on what kids need.”

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. — Isaiah 40:8, 1 Peter 1:24-25

(A sign asks those getting vaccinated to keep six feet apart during the vaccination event in January 2021 at Nevada Union High School in Grass Valley, California. Elias Funez/The Union via AP)

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Most recent comments

1st comment!!!!

I don't know what everyone else thinks about covid19 but I think that when people get exposed to covid it's a good thing because their immune system can learn to fight against it, I've had covid before and afterwards I never caught it again, so I think that the CDC easing their covid19 restrictions is a good, not just for education reasons but for everybody as well.

@Micah D

hey, man, sorry, I didn't see your question a month ago, I haven't been on here in forever, so yes, I'm still around, but, not really, so no, I'm not really around anymore. I will try to write something new sometime. I'll probably just disappear from here before long.

We shall see what happens.

It's been 2 and a half years?!? Wow...
Also, I feel like Worldteen is slowly going inactive (as for people commenting) ◑﹏◐

I’ve been vaccinated and

I’ve been vaccinated and never got it. But imagine this for every flu season.

It was also kind of the

It was also kind of the opposite of freedom.

@ N &M A

Yeah, I'm hoping that with the school year starting, more people will start commenting again.
@ All: Yay! Less guidelines!

It's about time!

It's about time!

@Above

This is good! I have had covid twice, but I think it was two different types. Like the first time it was the original and then the second time it was a variant. To me it has just become another sickness.
@NA: I agree! Most of the time it is like 1 comment or something and I am like whoa! I actually thought you were gone lol! XD

@ Riley

Yeah....we've had covid 5 times now...at this point its just like...whatever. xDD
I KNOWW....its like *new article* 0 comments for days until someone is like "Nice" or something xDD

This is Katie

Wow. I still can’t believe that it’s been TWO YEARS since this all began! I’m homeschooled so, the pandemic changed nothing about that.

What hypocrites

Did y'all see the CDC post itself? It's basically what conservatives have been saying this whole time. *facepalm*
@N&M and Riley- I haven't been on in forever either, and don't expect to very often this coming year bc it's senior year for me. I'm surprised there wasn't more activity on the articles this summer... I should probably get my dad to either cancel my subscription or put it in my brother's name instead so he can use it... In case I do that (which I probably will) thanks for all the great discussions! This is a great community!

Less guidelines!!!!!

I’ve had Covid-19 twice but it was at least 2 years in between. But less guidelines are awesome!!

I have been sick of the

I have been sick of the restrictions and requirements for years now.
Honestly it's hard to believe that we have been shut down for 2 and a half years. One thing I've noticed is how badly the lockdowns affected people. Especially the elderly and the young. People in nursing homes couldn't see their families and were basically isolated. Same with many kids and teens. I was also so sick of the vaccine requirements! Hospitals like my mom's forced their employees to take the vaccine or get fired, even if it was against their beliefs or they had health issues. There was one woman who worked there who had had horrible vaccine reactions in the past and almost died because of how horribly she reacted to previous vaccines. Her doctor told her never to take a vaccine again because she would likely die. And yet the hospital still demanded she had to risk her health and get the vaccine, she refused and was fired. Same with another woman who was expecting a baby and didn't believe it was safe for her to take the vaccine, they fired her as well.

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