CDC Ends Some COVID Safety Rules, Emphasizes Personal Risk

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Aug. 11, 2022 – The CDC today announced that because there’s now less risk of “medically significant” COVID-19, some public health measures the agency recommended may no longer be necessary.

For example, CDC recommendations on social distancing, quarantining, and testing children for COVID-19 while allowing them to stay in school – known as the test-to-stay strategy – may no longer be necessary for most Americans. The agency said high levels of immunity from vaccinations and prior infections, along with effective treatments and tools that prevent spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, prompted the action.

But the agency also said people who know they have a high risk for severe COVID-19 should continue to practice a multi-layered approach to keeping themselves safe. Well-known strategies include improved ventilation, well-fitting masks, and testing as warranted.

The new CDC guidance was published today in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The new recommendations emphasize the need to:

  • Focus on ways to reduce risks for severe COVID-19.
  • Monitor community COVID levels to guide prevention efforts.
  • Give immunocompromised people better access to vaccinations and therapeutics.
  • Continue offering reliable information so people at higher risk know their status.
  • Ensure people get tested if they don’t have symptoms and isolate for 5 days or longer when infected.

“COVID-19 remains an ongoing public health threat,” the CDC COVID-19 Emergency Response Team members said in the new recommendations.

“However, high levels of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity and the availability of medical and nonpharmaceutical interventions have substantially reduced the risk for medically significant illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.”

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