Dr. Anthony Fauci: CDC is considering changes to COVID-19 isolation guidance after backlash

"I think we're going to be hearing more about that in the next day or so from the CDC," Fauci said Sunday

By Brett Bachman

Published January 2, 2022 2:50PM (EST)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said during an interview Sunday that the Centers for Disease Control may amend its isolation guidance for Americans who test positive for COVID-19 — again — following backlash over recent changes that some saw as unduly deferent to business interests that have been clamoring for more lenient guidelines.

Fauci, speaking with host George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week," said there "has been some concern" from public health officials over the CDC's decision to shorten the amount of time it advised positive but asymptomatic people to isolate. Last week, the agency cut the quarantine period from 10 days to five, a policy that mirrored requests made by red-state governors and business leaders who were worried about the effects of a new COVID-19 surge on commerce.

Many Americans subsequently questioned why the guidance wouldn't at least require a negative test — a criticism that Fauci addressed during his conversation with Stephanopoulos.


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"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.

"I think we're going to be hearing more about that in the next day or so from the CDC," he added.

In a separate interview on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, Fauci explained the rationale behind the CDC's decision, saying, "the likelihood of transmissibility is considerably lower" after five days of your body battling the virus. 

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Brett Bachman

Brett Bachman is the Nights/Weekend Editor at Salon.

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