Possible changes coming to COVID-19 isolation protocol; CDC denies update

COVID Protocols

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The CDC may have changes coming to their COVID-19 isolation protocols, according to the Washington Post.

It reported Tuesday morning that the CDC is planning to loosen its guidelines on isolation to match the recommendations for the flu and RSV. It based this report on internal conversations and anonymous sources from within the organization.

In a statement to News10NBC, the CDC denied any immediate changes:

“No updates to COVID guidelines to announce at this time. We will continue to make decisions based on the best evidence and science to keep communities healthy and safe.”

Wintertime is peak infection season for the big three: Flu, COVID-19, and RSV.

Data from Monroe county shows that the risk for COVID-19 in our area is relatively low: About seven in 100,000 people were admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 last week. 

Turning to the flu, for the week ending in February 3, about 40 people in 100,000 were confirmed to have the illness.

County information on RSV says that about 62 people in 100,000 were admitted to the hospital the week of February 3. 

All of these rates are expected to keep shrinking as the weather warms up. While this doesn’t mean our hospitals are empty — in fact, they’ve continued to be over capacity with little end in sight. 

The Washington Post reported that some of the internal reasoning discussed for potentially loosening guidelines was the increase in herd immunity. But again, the CDC has denied any updates to their policies, meaning the five-day isolation rule is still in effect.

In the governor’s budget for 2024, there are plans to sunset the COVID-19 sick pay law. If the budget is approved, sick pay for COVID-19 isolation will disappear on July 31st. The budget will be approved by April 1st.