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With the coronavirus continuing to spread widely throughout the country, Americans are getting new advice from federal health officials on how to live with the virus.
The revised guidance – released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday – lifts the requirement to quarantine if exposed to the virus, deemphasizes screening people with no symptoms and updates COVID-19 protocols in schools, eliminating a recommendation for test-to-stay after potential exposure.
"This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives," the CDC's Greta Massetti said in a statement. "We know that COVID 19 is here to stay," she added in comments during a briefing with reporters.
The update isn't necessarily a huge overhaul of the existing guidance, but it does represent an increasing focus on individuals making their own decisions about their level of risk and how they want to mitigate that risk, said Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
"That is consistent with where we are in the pandemic right now," he said. "I don't really think there are many state or local jurisdictions that are feeling they're going to need to start making mandates."
In other words, the CDC is ending the lockdowns, at least for the coronavirus. This may be just to prepare for a new lockdown over the monkey pox or the donkey pox that is the next regularly scheduled virus. But at least for now, this is good news.