CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky acknowledged Wednesday that human Behavior played into the latest guidelines for how long individuals with coronavirus should quarantine. Walensky was pressed about how and why the CDC reduced its recommended isolation period from 10 days to five days for people who had tested positive for COVID-19 and were asymptomatic by that time.
Walensky said most transmissions of the virus occurred in the immediate days before and after developing symptoms of the disease. As she added people need to get back to work, Walensky said the Behavior science aspect of it came into play as well.Walensky’s remarks and the CDC shift come amid a surge in cases nationwide, a majority from the omicron variant of the disease. The omicron variant is highly transmissible but many of the cases are mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic, particularly among those who have been vaccinated, Walensky said.
Walensky came under fire from both sides after her remarks, with progressives who have continued to push for restrictions saying it was reckless and an effort to appease corporations like Delta, while others on the right said the same logic from President Trump and Republicans last year was called dangerous and prioritized profits over people. Others hoped the CDC’s about-face would lead to reconsidering other federal health measures, like encouraging masks on youngsters in school.