Fauci: CDC to consider amending isolation guidance to include testing

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine COVID-19 response and the next steps on Nov. 4, 2021.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine COVID-19 response and the next steps on Nov. 4, 2021.


Anthony Fauci on Sunday said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is considering further amending its isolation guidance for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 but remain asymptomatic.

Asked by host George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week" why the CDC does not require that individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 receive a negative test before leaving quarantine as an "extra layer of protection," Fauci said such a requirement is under consideration.

"You're right. There has been some concern about why we don't ask people at that five-day period to get tested. That is something that is now under consideration," Fauci said.

The CDC last week revised its COVID-19 isolation guidelines by cutting the recommended quarantine from 10 days to five for people who test positive and remain asymptomatic. For the subsequent five days, the health agency recommends that individuals wear a mask around others at all times.

Fauci on Sunday said the health agency is "very aware" of the pushback generated by the new guidelines.

"The CDC is very well aware that there has been some pushback about that. Looking at it again, there may be an option in that, that testing could be a part of that, and I think we're going to be hearing more about that in the next day or so from the CDC," he added.

The White House medical adviser, during a separate appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday morning, explained the rationale behind the shortened quarantine period for people who test positive but are asymptomatic.

Fauci said that "the likelihood of transmissibility is considerably lower in that second half of a 10-day period."

"And for that reason, the CDC made the judgment that it would be relatively low risk to get people out," he added.

Fauci on CNN said the new guidance "has generated a number of questions about, at that five-day period, should you or should you not be testing people?"

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