White House chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci said that he thinks those coming out of isolation after a COVID-19 infection should be re-tested, adding that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could release new guidance in the coming days as reported by Fox News.
Fauci teased a new testing recommendation in an interview with CNN on Sunday, Jan. 2, during which he said the CDC might implement a new testing program for people looking to leave isolation after five days.
Fauci said Sunday that he believes people coming out of isolation after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis should be re-tested, teasing that the CDC could announce new guidance in the coming days.
“I believe that the CDC soon will be coming out with more clarification of that, since it obviously has generated a number of questions about at that five-day period: should you or should you not be testing people?” Fauci told CNN’s Dana Bash. “I myself feel that that’s a reasonable thing to do.”
A week earlier, the CDC updated its isolation guidance for COVID-19 infected patients. It decided to shorten the recommended quarantine period for those who test positive for COVID-19 and remain without symptoms from ten to just five days. After five days, those individuals should wear masks while in public for another five days.
Fauci’s revelation comes as the shortages of COVID-19 tests are already gripping the United States amid a surge of Omicron variant.
According to Fox News, Americans waited for hours in long lines at testing sites as the new variant of the coronavirus surged over the holiday season, especially after Christmas.
The White House said Americans would have to wait at least several weeks for the roll-out of promised at-home testing kits.
Fauci’s remarks contradict what CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said earlier in the week about isolation.
“We opted not to have the rapid test for isolation, because we actually don’t know how our rapid tests perform, and how well they predict whether you’re transmissible during the end of disease,” Walensky told CNN on Wednesday.
“The FDA has not authorized them for that use. We don’t know how they perform… So what we said was, well if you got a rapid test at five days, and it’s negative, we weren’t convinced that you weren’t still transmissible,” she said.