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MDHHS won’t change to new CDC COVID guidelines until review

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 11:55 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 30, 2021 at 5:44 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently reduced the recommended number of days to quarantine, while the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has said it will wait for a review of the evidence before making changes.

The CDC’s new guidance for quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 reduces the isolation period down to five days in some circumstances. Their reasoning is that, while the virus can still be spread for two weeks after infection, it is most commonly spread in the days immediately surrounding symptoms.

The CDC wrote, “The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.”

The Latest: Michigan COVID cases up to 1,507,338 and 26,988 deaths

The new recommendation also asks that people with COVID-19 wear a mask following the shortened quarantine to minimize the risk of spreading the disease to others.

Now, MDHHS has said that it intends to wait for the evidence behind the guidance to be reviewed, while keeping the current quarantine and isolation guidelines.

“While the CDC is working on additional information to clarify parts of their updated COVID-19 quarantine and isolation guidance released this week, MDHHS strongly encourages all residents to continue to follow Michigan’s current quarantine and isolation guidance to keep themselves and their family as safe as possible,” MDHHS officials wrote in a release.

In their announcement of the new national guidelines, the CDC pointed to what a population can handle when fully vaccinated and boosted, noting that someone who is up-to-date with their shots has a significant resistance to even omicron. However, the MDHHS stated their decision is based on the present number of cases, including hospitalizations.

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“The delta variant has already fueled the current surge in COVID cases and hospitalizations,” MDHHS officials wrote. “The high transmissibility of the omicron variant underscores the importance of Michiganders practicing the COVID mitigation practices that are known to reduce spread and risk.”

Both CDC and MDHHS officials urged the public to make it harder for the disease to spread by getting vaccinated.

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