State Watch

Michigan shifts, will follow CDC isolation guidance

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced on Friday that it would be changing its quarantine guidance to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a shift from earlier in the week.

Michigan’s state government initially said it would not be following the CDC’s new guidelines until it received further information. The new guidance shortened the recommended length of quarantine to five days for asymptomatic individuals regardless of vaccinations status.

The CDC also left out a recommendation to get a negative COVID-19 test before leaving isolation.

On Friday, the MDHHS said in a statement that it would be updating its guidance to “reflect the recent recommendations” from the CDC. 

MDHHS chief medical executive Natasha Bagdasarian said, “We have safe and effective tools for preventing the spread of COVID-19.”

“Getting vaccinated continues to be the best protection against severe illness and hospitalization, and we urge all Michiganders over age 5 to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Bagdasarian said.

“These most recent updates to the quarantine and isolation guidelines are a reflection on our progress as we learn more about COVID — but we are not in the clear as variants like omicron continue to create new challenges in the fight to end this pandemic.”

The CDC’s new recommendations have been criticized by public health experts who warned that the new guidelines may encourage people to leave isolation while still capable of spreading infection. Some experts, like former President Trump’s surgeon general Jerome Adams, advised people to still get an antigen test before leaving isolation if possible.

White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci defended the updated guidelines, saying this week that they were designed 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,” Fauci said.

Tags Anthony Fauci Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Donald Trump Jerome Adams Joe Biden Michigan Quarantine SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant

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