CDC says there are "no updates to COVID guidelines to announce at this time"

We recently shared an article by The Washington Post reporting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "plans to drop five-day covid isolation guidelines." The WaPo piece stated:

Americans who test positive for the coronavirus no longer need to routinely stay home from work and school for five days under new guidance planned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency is loosening its covid isolation recommendations for the first time since 2021 to align it with guidance on how to avoid transmitting flu and RSV, according to four agency officials and an expert familiar with the discussions. . . .

The CDC plans to recommend that people who test positive for the coronavirus use clinical symptoms to determine when to end isolation. Under the new approach, people would no longer need to stay home if they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the aid of medication and their symptoms are mild and improving, according to three agency officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share internal discussions. . . 

The White House has yet to sign off on the guidance that the agency is expected to release in April for public feedback, officials said. One agency official said the timing could "move around a bit" until the guidance is finalized.

However, after The Washington Post reported this change, other news outlets have explained that the CDC has not confirmed the decision. NBC News states that, "CDC says it has no plans to ease COVID isolation yet," and provides more information:

People who test positive for Covid should still isolate for five days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even though many Americans are already ignoring the policy. That guidance is likely to change at some point, however. 

Following reports that the CDC was considering easing Covid isolation restrictions — including guidelines that people can leave their homes after being fever-free for 24 hours — the agency refused to confirm that such plans were in the works. The potential change was first reported by The Washington Post.

But an official at the Department of Health and Human Services who asked not to be identified said federal health officials are considering relaxing Covid isolation guidelines, although the discussions are at an early stage and no definitive decisions have been made. 

"It's way too preliminary," the source said. There's "lots more consultation to be had."

The CDC is looking at changes to its overall Covid guidance, which could include recommendations about masking as well as isolation, said a public health official who was involved with a recent call with the CDC. The CDC currently recommends masking for 10 days following a Covid diagnosis

Health also reports:

The potential pivot—which the Post attributed to several unnamed CDC officials—would reduce the isolation time after a COVID diagnosis from five days to just 24 hours without a fever. The change could come as early as April.

The CDC has not yet confirmed the report. "[There are] no updates to COVID guidelines to announce at this time," a CDC spokesperson told Health in a statement. "We will continue to make decisions based on the best evidence and science to keep communities [healthy] and safe."

While CDC data reported by The Washington Post shows that "COVID deaths have plunged," NBC News states unequivocally that "There's no evidence that the virus that causes Covid has evolved to become less dangerous or contagious." And while COVID deaths and hospitalizations are lower than they were at earlier stages of the pandemic, BNO News reported over 2300 deaths from COVID in the United States last week–the sixth week in a row with over 2000 COVID deaths. Additionally, almost 20,000 people were in the hospital with COVID last week. While focusing on deaths and hospitalizations is important, it's also crucial to stress that even mild COVID can cause long COVID, so reducing the spread of COVID is still important for the health of the public. A recent study by HelpAdvisor, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey revealed that almost 1 out of every 4 adults who have been diagnosed with or have tested positive for COVID-19 report that they also had long COVID symptoms—meaning that they had COVID-19 symptoms for three months or longer after a case of COVID-19.

Many advocates who have been fighting to reduce the spread of COVID and to raise awareness about long COVID have called for concerned citizens to contact CDC officials and urge them to keep the 5-day isolation guidelines. Here's a list of emails and phone numbers provided by COVID activist Don Ford if you want to contact the CDC:

Here are your contacts… This is not a done deal.

General CDC phone number: 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)

TTY 888-232-6348

CDC Director's email address

CDC Director's phone number: 404-639-7000 (press 8)

CDC Director's address 1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329

CDC Director's fax number 404-639-7150

And if you feel up to it also contact California and Oregon Public Health too.