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CDC shortens COVID-19 isolation guidelines as experts continue to learn more about virus

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – As health experts gather more data and continue to learn about COVID-19, certain protocols and regulations are changing.

According to the CDC and local health experts, it’s now okay to go back to work just 10 days after testing positive for the virus.

That’s not the only change — Requiring a negative test result to return to work is no longer encouraged.

Noelle Bellow: “It’s almost as if testing means everything, but after a certain point, means nothing.”
Dr. Maldonado: “Testing is one tool among many and it’s a very good tool, but it needs to be interpreted properly.”

Six months into the COVID-19 fight here in the US and health experts are revising previous recommendations to help stop the spread.

In an article published Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states those who have tested positive can be around others 10 days after the positive test date, as long as you have no fever and your symptoms have improved.

“We started with 14 days because we didn’t understand much about the virus,” Dr. Maldonado said. 

Stanford infectious disease expert Dr. Yvonne Maldonado says health experts were right to be cautious in the beginning but now…

“If you look at the data around the country and world, that’s been consistent, that people don’t infect other people 10 days after they’ve gotten sick,” Dr. Maldonado said. 

“I’m retired, but if I were working, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with that personally,” a Solano woman said. 

Solano County announced Wednesday they were adopting the new recommendation which health officials are calling the 10 and 20 rule.

10 days for normal patients but 20 days for those who are immune compromised.

Dr. Maldonado says she understands if people are confused.

“It’s a subtle difference and when you study these things it makes sense and as you move forward and you learn more info you try to adjust,” Dr. Maldonado said. 

When asked why testing is no longer recommended before being let back to work, Dr. Maldonado says it’s just not clinically relevant once you’re symptom-free.

“It’s a very sensitive test, it could be overly sensitive. Meaning it might pick up genes that may not represent actively replicating virus,” Dr. Maldonado said. 

The one thing that hasn’t changed, the recommendation to wear a mask, and stay socially distant when you can. 

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