New CDC Guidelines Say Go Back to Work!

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on March 1 that it is lifting its recommendation to isolate for five days after testing positive for COVID. It now recommends “returning to normal activities when, for at least 24 hours, symptoms are improving overall, and if a fever was present, it has been gone without use of a fever-reducing medication.”

These recommendations may be consistent with other respiratory illnesses, but it has been shown that COVID is more transmissible, and is still hospitalizing and killing more people than the flu (per CDC data). It additionally poses a much greater risk to older individuals and those with certain medical conditions, not to mention the still-unknown but devastating consequences of Long COVID.

What these new guidelines may do is encourage people to go back to work before they are fully recovered, especially if they do not have paid time off or adequate sick pay. There they could potentially infect others, including vulnerable populations, who may not be as lucky to catch a mild case.

So when the CDC tells us we can quickly return to “normal activities,” we know what they are really telling us to do – get back to work!