Michigan says it won’t adopt new CDC guidelines without ‘additional information’
Michigan will not follow updated quarantine and isolation guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) until the state acquires more information, health authorities said on Thursday.
The CDC announced Monday that it was cutting its recommended isolation time for people infected with COVID-19 from 10 to five days, as long as they are asymptomatic. This applies to everyone regardless of vaccination status. People are also encouraged to wear a mask for five days afterward.
The health agency also cut down the time for self-isolation to five days or people who are unvaccinated or vaccinated but not boosted.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released a statement Thursday explaining it had asked the CDC for additional information about the guidelines, including questions about special populations and high-risk settings.
Until then, the state “strongly encourages all residents to continue to follow Michigan’s current quarantine and isolation guidance to keep themselves and their family as safe as possible.”
Michigan, which recorded its highest daily count on Monday with more than 1,600 confirmed cases, recommends a 10-day isolation period for symptomatic or asymptomatic individuals and a 14-day quarantine period for unvaccinated individuals who were exposed.
The CDC’s new guidelines come amid a surge in coronavirus cases, driven in part by the new omicron variant.
While the new variant appears to be more transmissible, initial data in the U.S. and from other countries with omicron outbreaks say that the strain appears to be more mild.
Health officials in the U.S. said that the probability of more mild disease was a factor when decided to cut the quarantine period. Staffing shortages and potential societal shutdowns caused by the record high spike in cases were another factor.
Former President Trump’s surgeon general, Jerome Adams, criticized the latest recommendation earlier this week.
“Regardless of what CDC says, you really should try to obtain an antigen test (I know — easier said than done) and confirm it’s negative prior to leaving isolation and quarantine,” tweeted Adams.
On Thursday, Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, defended the CDC’s updated guidelines. He said the revisions were meant to “balance” the pandemic response.
“The reason is that now that we have such an overwhelming volume of cases coming in, many of which are without symptoms, there’s the danger that this is going to have a really negative impact on our ability to really get society to function properly,” he said.