CDC defends isolation guidelines, urges people to get vaccinated against COVID

American Medical Association experts criticize new 5-day isolation guideline

CDC defends isolation guidelines, urges people to get vaccinated against COVID.

DETROIT – The CDC held a rare telebriefing Friday (Jan. 7) for the media. These briefings used to be frequent, but the agency shifted away to speaking primarily alongside the White House early on in the pandemic.

Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky faced tough questions on several issues, including confusing new guidelines and the rapid rise of hospitalizations in children.

“Pediatric hospitalizations are at the highest rate compared to any prior point in the pandemic,” Walensky said.

That includes being contracted by children ages four and under who aren’t yet eligible to be vaccinated.

“It’s critically important that we surround them with people who are vaccinated to provide them protection,” Walensky said. “This includes at home, at daycare, at preschool, and throughout our entire community.”

A key question for every: Are those who recover from omicron still at risk for getting it again?

“We don’t yet know whether if you had omicron, you are more susceptible or less susceptible to another infection with omicron, Walensky said. “We have indications that if you had delta, you are susceptible to infection with omicron, and that omicron, in the lab, may protect you against infection with delta.”

Walensky continued to try and clarify the CDC’s reasoning for reducing isolation time for people without symptoms from 10 days to five.

“Our guidance is very clear that you shouldn’t leave isolation if you are still symptomatic,” Walensky said.

And stressed, if you do leave isolation after five days!

“Anticipate that you might still have some residual contagion in you,” Walensky said. “So in that context, we’re asking people to wear a mask all the time, don’t go to restaurants, don’t go traveling, avoid your family members or others that might be immunocompromised, avoid visiting grandma or a nursing home.”

The American Medical Association has joined experts criticizing the new five day isolation guideline, saying “potentially, hundreds of thousands of people could return to work and school while infectious, if they follow the new guidance.”


About the Authors:

You can watch Kimberly Gill weekdays anchoring Local 4 News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. and streaming live at 10 p.m. on Local 4+. She's an award-winning journalist who finally called Detroit home in 2014. Kim has won Regional Emmy Awards, and was part of the team that won the National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast in 2022.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.