CDC Weighs Losening Guidelines for Some04/08 06:18
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is
considering changing its guidelines for self-isolation to make it easier for
those who have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus to return to work
if they are asymptomatic.
The public health agency, in conjunction with the White House coronavirus
task force, is considering an announcement as soon as Wednesday, Vice President
Mike Pence said on Tuesday.
Under the proposed guidance, people who are exposed to someone infected
would be allowed back on the job if they are asymptomatic, test their
temperature twice a day and wear a face mask, said a person familiar with the
proposal under consideration. The person described the proposal on the
condition of anonymity because the draft had not been finalized.
The new policy is aimed in particular at workers in critical jobs. But it
also comes as the Trump administration is eyeing what it calls a
"stabilization" in infection rates and looks toward rolling back some of the
restrictive social distancing guidelines and restarting the nation's stalled
The proposed guidance would follow recommendations made by the CDC that
eased self-isolation requirements for front-line medical workers who were
exposed to the virus. Under CDC guidance, medical workers who have been exposed
to the virus without protective equipment but who have no symptoms can return
to work with a mask and temperature checks after 14 days.
Pence on Tuesday said the White House is focusing on the "point of need" for
the current situation but also is operating on another track to consider future
recommendations for the public.
"Some of the best minds here at the White House are beginning to think about
what recommendations will look like that we give to businesses, that we give to
states, but it will all, I promise you, be informed on putting the health and
well-being of the American people first," Pence said.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such
as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially
older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe
illness, including pneumonia, and death.
In fashioning the recommendations, the administration appeared to be trying
to balance political concerns about wanting to preserve as much normalcy as
possible with public health concerns that some infections are being spread by
people who seem to be healthy.