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Alton Thomas Stiles

California Adds Twist to New CDC Advice on Quarantines

California’s updated guidance differs from the CDC’s in one important way. The state is recommending that people who quarantine after a positive diagnosis take a follow-up test and get a negative result before ending isolation. The CDC’s guidelines do not include taking another test after quarantining.

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A masked worker stands behind a sign warning of a quarantine. iStock photo.
A masked worker stands behind a sign warning of a quarantine. iStock photo.

By Aldon Thomas Stiles, California Black Media

The Monday after Christmas, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shortened its COVID-19 quarantine recommendation by half.

That same day, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Twitter that California will follow suit, recommending a five-day isolation period instead of the state’s former guidance of 10 days.

“California will align with the CDC’s updated guidelines for isolation and quarantine time,” Newsom tweeted.

However, California’s updated guidance differs from the CDC’s in one important way. The state is recommending that people who quarantine after a positive diagnosis take a follow-up test and get a negative result before ending isolation.

The CDC’s guidelines do not include taking another test after quarantining.

The CDC said its decision, in part, is based on science that shows people are most infectious during the first five days of catching the virus.

In an interview with NPR, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said another rationale for the new shortened guidance is the concern for keeping industries that are critical to the national economy operating.

Sharing this concern, Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian, along with the company’s medical advisor Dr. Carlos del Rio and Chief Health Officer Dr. Henry Ting, sent a letter to Walensky less than a week before CDC’s updated recommendation, requesting a five-day isolation period for Delta’s fully vaccinated employees.

The letter argued that the previous guidelines were out of date and did not account for vaccinations.

It also argued that the former 10-day isolation period would hurt business because with the spread of the Omicron variant, vaccinated workers who do catch COVID-19 would be out for a longer period of time.

“With the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the 10-day isolation for those who are fully vaccinated may significantly impact our workforce and operations,” the letter read. “Similar to healthcare, police, fire, and public transportation workforces, the Omicron surge may exacerbate shortages and create significant disruptions.”

In December 2020, the CDC shortened its previous recommendation of a 14-day isolation period to 10 days.

California Black Media’s coverage of COVID-19 is supported by the California Health Care Foundation.

Alton Thomas Stiles

Booster Shot Required to Battle Omicron Variant Effectively, Gov. Newsom Says

“After our kids have enjoyed the holiday with family and friends … we want to make sure they come back in as good a shape as they left meaning we want to make sure that we are testing our kids and preparing them to come back to in-person instruction,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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@CaliforniaBlac2 @tommyofasgard @BlackPressUSA @NNPA_BlackPress @GavinNewsom @CaliforniaDep11
Omicron’s swift spread alarms experts who are encouraging Californians to get vaccine booster shots.

By Aldon Thomas Stiles | California Black Media

Last week, speaking at a press conference at the Native American Health Center in Oakland, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that Californians will have to take booster shots as the state adopts new COVID-19 measures to fight the Omicron variant.

He specified that California healthcare workers will be required to get booster shots by Feb. 1, 2022.

“There is nothing more important when we’re experiencing a surge in growth of case rates than protecting our frontline heroes and employees, and that’s why we led as the first state in the nation to require all healthcare workers to be vaccinated,” Newsom said.

He pointed out, “that led to extraordinarily high vaccination rates for our healthcare workers, kept staff working, kept the morale strong and kept their immunity strong. But we recognize now that just being vaccinated, fully vaccinated, is not enough with this new variant. We believe it is important to extend this requirement to getting that third dose.”

Newsom also announced that the state will be ordering 6 million free home tests for children in school.

The governor said the state is also ratcheting up its efforts to keep kids safe and schools open.

“We will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities by making at-home testing kits available to every K-12 public school student as they head back to the classroom from winter break,” Newsom continued.

At the press conference, Newsom made clear his intention to continue in-person schooling.

“After our kids have enjoyed the holiday with family and friends … we want to make sure they come back in as good a shape as they left meaning we want to make sure that we are testing our kids and preparing them to come back to in-person instruction,” Newsom said.

In addition, the governor announced that the state will be extending hours of operations for testing sites.

He said California has over 6,000 testing sites, about 30% of all the nation’s testing sites.

“California continues to lead,” Newsom said. “As of today, we have the lowest positivity rate in America.”

As of Sunday, December 26, California had a 5.4% test positivity rate for the last eight days. That number is up about 2.4% from the last week, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

“We continue to lead the nation in terms of administered doses of the vaccine and we continue to do more than most other states in promoting not only the safety and efficacy of our vaccines but promoting boosters,” he continued.

The CDPH reports that 78.9 % of all Californians have been vaccinated.

California Black Media’s coverage of COVID-19 is supported by the California Health Care Foundation.

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