New CDC Guidelines Change Quarantine Procedures for Students


The new quarantine notice students receive when they test positive only requires them to quarantine for 6 days if they are asymptomatic.

Claire Fiedler, Staff Writer

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recently changed their guidelines in regards to the COVID-19 virus, a decision that has faced much backlash and criticism, with many calling their decision to shorten the isolation period to five days without need for a negative test lax and even dangerous. 

As of December 27, 2021, the CDC now says that people who test positive should stay home and isolate themselves for at least five full days, followed by five additional days of masking around other people. Negative tests are no longer required to leave isolation. 

These new guidelines will allow people to get back into the workforce quicker, however medical professionals have mixed opinions on this new guideline. 

“CDC’s new guidance to drop isolation of positives to 5 days without a negative test is reckless,” says Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist and chief scientific officer at eMed, in a tweet following the initial announcement. He believes that this new guideline will lead to more spread.

On the other hand, Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the White House, said in an interview with ABC News, “You can get people safely back out in a five-day period so long as they wear a mask if they are without symptoms. That is the science.” He believes this new guideline will help avoid another shutdown of the country. 

Sophomore Cate Lenchner believes that these guidelines will be dangerous for student learning at North Allegheny. She says, “I think given the infectious rate of the new omicron variant, I feel like it is slightly irresponsible, especially with schools now lifting their mask mandates. I think five days is not enough to ensure the safety of students when masks are not in place for protection.”

In addition, Lenchner believes that students should care about these new guidelines. She says, “I think the corona virus inherently affects our schooling and learning environment which inherently affects us.” 

Overall, this new decision from the CDC has given rise to controversy and backlash. The world is approaching the third year of the pandemic, and things continue to change rapidly. It has been difficult to balance public opinion while keeping up with new information.