CDC considers COVID test requirement for asymptomatic, Fauci says

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WASHINGTON — With the COVID-19 omicron variant rising across the United States, top federal health officials are looking to add a negative test to their five-day isolation restrictions for asymptomatic Americans who catch the coronavirus, the top White House medical adviser said. Said on Sunday.

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Dr Anthony Fauci said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now considering including negative testing as part of its guidance. Important “pushback” on that Updated recommendations last week.

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Under that December 27 guidance, isolation restrictions were reduced from 10 days to five days for people infected with COVID-19 if they no longer feel symptoms or are running a fever. After that period, they are asked to spend the next five days wearing masks when they are around others.

The guidelines have received criticism from many health professionals for not specifying a negative antigen test as a requirement to leave isolation.

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“There’s some concern about why we don’t ask people to get tested during that five-day period,” Fauci said. “Looking at it again, there might be an option in that, that testing could be a part of that, and I think we’ll hear more about that the next day or so from the CDC.”

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said the US is seeing an almost “vertical increase” of new cases, now averaging 400,000 cases a day, even with hospitalizations.

“We are certainly in the midst of a very serious surge and a spurt in cases,” he said. “The number of cases we’ve seen is unprecedented, far beyond what we’ve seen before.”

Fauci said he is concerned that the Omron version is taking a toll on the health care system and causing “major disruption” to other essential services.

Fauci said, “When I say big disruption, you are definitely going to emphasize the system and people with any kind of jobs on the system… to do.” “We already know that there are reports from police departments to fire departments in different cities that 10, 20, 25 and sometimes 30% of people are sick. And that is something we need to be concerned about because We want to make sure that we don’t have such an impact on the society that there is actually a disruption. I hope that doesn’t happen.”

While there is “accumulating evidence” that Omicron may cause less severe disease, he cautioned that the data remains early. Fauci said he is particularly concerned about the millions of illiterate Americans because “a fair number of them will have serious illness.”

He urged Americans who have not yet been vaccinated to do so and urged them to wear masks indoors to protect themselves and blunt the current surge of US cases.

Food and Drug Administration Said last week preliminary research indicates rapid test at home Detect omicron, but sensitivity may be low. The agency noted that it is still studying how the tests perform with the variant, which was first detected in late November.

Fauci said Americans “should not make the impression that those tests are not valuable.”

“I think the confusion is that rapid antigen tests have never been as sensitive as PCR tests,” Fauci said. “They’re great when given sequentially. So if you have them like two or three times over a period of a few days, at the end of the day, they’re as good as a PCR, but with a single test.” In form, they are not as sensitive.”

A PCR test usually needs to be processed in a laboratory. The test looks for the virus’s genetic material and then reproduces it millions of times until it is detectable with a computer.

Fauci said that if Americans take the necessary precautions, America could soon see some semblance of a return to normal life.

“One of the things that we expect is that this thing will peak and reverse over a period of a few weeks,” Fauci said. He hoped that by February and March, Omicron could drop to a level low enough “so that it doesn’t disrupt our society, our economy, our way of life.”

Fauci spoke on ABC’s “This Week” and CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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