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San Antonio hospital chief speaks out on new CDC recommendations for shorter COVID-19 isolation time


SAN ANTONIO – Based on the rate of transmission of COVID-19 in the first 5 days of an infection, University Health chief medical officer Dr Bryan Alsip said he was “quite comfortable” with new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Based on the information the CDC sees, Alsip mentioned that these were “good recommendations,” which is to cut COVID-19 isolation time in half to 5 days for anyone who is asymptomatic.

Since it’s possible for someone to still be contagious beyond those five days, Alsip said the CDC recommends wearing the mask for another ten days.

Alsip said he also wanted to see the viral cultures in the lab.

“It would be more reassuring because we would know exactly if something can replicate and transmit after five days or not,” Alsip said.

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He said he believed it could give individuals “a greater sense of comfort.”

According to the CDC, anyone doing a constructive test should self-isolate for 5 days, regardless of their vaccination status. If there are no signs or if there are no more signs, the CDC says there is no longer mandatory isolation, but you must put on a mask if you are surrounded by other people for at least 5 days. However, stay home when you have a fever.

The recommendations are the same for those who will not be boosted or not vaccinated but check carefully. Stay home for 5 days, then put on a mask for at least another 5 days. Those who cannot quarantine themselves can put on a mask for 10 days and get checked on day 5. If signs develop, stay home.

People who have been vaccinated and boosted in the past two to six months can put on a mask for 10 days and then get checked on day 5. But again, if signs develop, stay home.

Alsip mentioned that he understands that some might find it difficult to understand the need for the more recent recommendations.

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“I think it can be very confusing for the layman as well as for those who work in healthcare,” Alsip said.

But just like the pandemic itself, Alsip mentioned the changes in information, prompting completely different recommendations.

Resources World Health Organization, Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention, City of Saint-Antoine

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