The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has said that it won’t adopt federal guidelines shortening the COVID-19 isolation from 10 days to five days.
“The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) intends to review the supporting evidence behind this guidance, while awaiting additional information from the CDC, specifically for special populations and in high-risk settings,” the MDHHS said in a statement.
In the meantime, the agency said it “will retain current quarantine and isolation guidelines including guidelines for K-12 and congregate care settings,” and it added that it will update the guidance when “additional information” is available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On Monday, the CDC adjusted its rule shortening the isolation period for individuals who test positive but are not showing any symptoms. The agency said the first five days after someone contracts the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus is the most infectious period.
Federal officials said that lowering the quarantine time is needed to keep people working and services running.
“There is the danger that there will be so many people who are being isolated who are asymptomatic for the full 10 days, you could have a major negative impact on our ability to keep society running,” White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a recent TV interview on the latest guideline revision.
State health officials also argued that the Omicron variant’s relatively high transmissibility “underscores the importance of Michiganders practicing the COVID mitigation practices that are known to reduce spread and risk,” calling for people to get vaccinated or take booster doses.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that the latest guidelines also “balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses,” adding that they “ensure people can safely continue their daily lives.”
“We can’t shut down our city again,” New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams also told reporters Thursday while speaking about his COVID-19 plan. Adams is slated to replace outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio in the coming days.
The CDC last week also loosened its recommendation for healthcare workers to stay out of work for about 10 days if they test positive for the CCP virus. New recommendations suggest that healthcare workers can head back to work after seven days if they produce a negative test result and have no symptoms.
The isolation time, the CDC added, can be shortened to five days if there are staffing shortages at facilities.