CDC director: Update on COVID isolation guideline may come ‘soon’

▶ Watch Video: CDC director Rochelle Walensky on federal plans to fight Omicron and new COVID treatment pill

Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that the agency is looking at data to see if it will ease the CDC’s current COVID-19 isolation guidelines. 

“We’re actively examining those data now and doing some modeling analyses to assess that. And we anticipate that we’ll have some updates soon,” Walensky told “CBS Mornings.” 

According to the CDC guidelines, those who test positive, regardless of vaccination status, must isolate for 10 days.  

If a person believes they have been in close contact with someone who has COVID and is unvaccinated, they should stay home and away from others while they watch for symptoms for at least 14 days. 

It is unclear when the CDC will have any update on its isolation guidelines and whether it will impact those who are vaccinated.  

This comes after Britain shortened its isolation period from 10 days to seven, with a negative test on the 6th day, after coming under pressure from businesses struggling with staff shortages. The government said the rule change would enable some people who would otherwise have been stuck in isolation to spend Christmas with their loved ones.  

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian has also asked for the CDC to shorten its isolation period after he said it is impacting Delta’s workforce.  

The highly contagious Omicron variant has become the dominant strain in the U.S., accounting for nearly 73% of COVID sequences this week, according to Walensky.  

The surge of the Omicron variant comes as millions of Americans are expected to travel for the holidays. Walensky said the key to a safe holiday requires vaccination, booster shots and taking precautions before traveling.  

“Certainly, you want to make sure that you vaccinated and boosted if you’re eligible and that the people who you’re gathering with are vaccinated and eligible, as well,” she said. “But I want to highlight one important piece, and that is people are talking about the plane rides and the train rides. That’s actually not where the real challenge is. How safe your holiday is, is really about how safe you are in the time leading up to the holiday.” 

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