CDC easing up on some COVID-19 guidelines in latest update
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The CDC is easing up on COVID restrictions, including some that have been around since the start of the pandemic.
If you’re exposed to COVID but don’t feel sick, the CDC now says you don’t have to quarantine, and they no longer suggest keeping 6 feet apart.
“I think it’s reasonable to simplify things,” said family physician Dr. Laura Miller. “This is something it’s gonna be with us, you know, initially we weren’t sure with COVID, how long it lasts and what we do. But now we sort of see where we are, where we’re going, and I think this is certainly a reasonable update.”
That quarantine guidance change is a big topic for schools. Here’s the catch, if exposed, the CDC would instead recommend wearing a mask for 10 days and getting tested on day 5, but pediatricians worry that will be tough to enforce.
“Our concern is that we’re going to see more and more cases within the schools because we are not quarantining close contacts or letting people in the school system know. So we have concerns,” said Dr. Anita Henderson, President of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “The other issue is we really don’t know how many children within the schools are affected right now because they are not required to report or not being asked to report to the Department of Health.”
“We want to protect our children, and the more relaxed CDC guidelines, I think, is reflective of the changing nature and what’s going on with this pandemic,” said pediatrician Dr. John Gaudet. “But children are still a vulnerable population, and we have to remember that.”
Simpson County School District has had three schools go virtual since they started back a few weeks ago but just yesterday, as the CDC was updating its guidance, so did the district.
“With the updated guidelines, it gives us more flexibility for the students to remain in the classroom for instructional time,” described Judith Jones, Simpson County School District’s Director of COVID-19 Health and Wellness. “And we will continue to monitor COVID trends in the school setting to ensure the safety of our staff and students.”
They say they’ll still do contact tracing and try to enforce masking for close contacts.
Although Simpson County is still planning on doing that contact tracing, as will some other districts, the CDC is now only recommending contact tracing in health care settings and certain high-risk congregate settings.
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