USA: quarantine for symptom-free halves

Status: December 28, 2021 10:11 a.m.

The USA wants to resolve the shortage of employees by bringing corona infected people back to work: Those who have no symptoms should only have to isolate themselves for five days in the future.

By Sebastian Hesse, ARD-Studio Washington

It was both health and economic reasons that prompted the US health authority CDC to halve the recommended quarantine time for people infected with corona without symptoms. So far, it has been said that those affected should go into isolation for ten days. The recommendation was reduced to five days. The reason for the step was not just that Corona is particularly contagious in the early stages of the infection. In addition, reference was made to the economic impact of the rapidly increasing number of cases on the US economy.

Sebastian Hesse
ARD-Studio Washington

Infected employees, especially from key industries, should return to work more quickly, argued chief virologist Anthony Fauci. The best example are the numerous flights that had to be canceled over the holidays because no staff were available due to the corona. More than 1,000 flights by American airlines were canceled yesterday alone. There have been more than 4,000 since Christmas Eve.

Bottlenecks in the aviation industry

Like other industries, the aviation industry had urged shortening the quarantine period and bringing infected people back to work as quickly as possible. The CDC complied with this – supplemented by the recommendation to wear a mask for another five days after returning.

To counteract the bottleneck in testing facilities, US President Joe Biden has instructed FEMA to set up additional test centers across the country. “We have to do more. We have to and will get better,” Biden said yesterday in a conference call with the state governors.

Free rapid tests

From January there should be no more delivery problems with rapid tests. The US government has bought 500 million additional rapid tests that will be distributed free of charge from the turn of the year. The highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus is also spreading rapidly in the USA. More than 200,000 new infections per day were recently reported.

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