CDC shortens recommended isolation, quarantine time, as omicron cases surge

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CDC shortens recommended isolation, quarantine time, as omicron cases surge
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday cut the recommended isolation time for people with COVID-19 from 10 days to five days amid a surge in omicron cases nationwide. 

Individuals who are infected may now isolate for just five days, followed by five days of wearing a mask when around other people. In addition, only people who have received a booster shot are exempted from quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19. 

For everyone else – including people who are six months out from their second mRNA dose or two months out from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – a five-day quarantine period is now recommended instead of 10 days. 

“Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others,” the agency wrote in a statement. “People who test positive should isolate for 5 days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others.”

The omicron variant, which was first detected in South Africa last month, is rapidly spreading in the United States. It was responsible for 73.2% of all new cases for the week that ended Dec. 18.

The CDC’s new guidance comes less than a week after the agency loosened guidance for health care workers who test positive, cutting the isolation period from 10 days to as short as five days if there are staffing shortages. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON OUR TOP STORY

In other developments:
– Multiple states hit record high COVID cases
– Miami Beach mayor tells CNN that Gov. DeSantis has decided to ‘champion’ not taking vaccine
– COVID-19 omicron variant brings gloom into the new year
– Fauci says to cancel New Year’s Eve parties, as millions struggle for normalcy nearly two years into pandemic
– Rangers forward calls for NHL to make changes to COVID protocols

Biden says he agrees with GOP governors: There’s ‘no federal solution’ to pandemic
President Biden on a call with governors Monday said he agrees with two GOP state executives that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to mitigate COVID-19, even as his administration is pushing major federal solutions to the pandemic that’s nearly two years old. 

Biden made the comment after Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is the chair of the National Governors Association, cautioned the president against taking actions that may step on states’ toes as they aim to fight the virus. 

“One word of concern or encouragement for your team is that as you look towards federal solutions that will help alleviate the challenge, make sure that we do not let federal solutions stand in the way of state solutions,” Hutchinson said. “The production of 500 million rapid tests that will be distributed by the federal government is great, but obviously that dries up the supply chain for the solutions that we might offer as governor.”

“There is no federal solution. This gets solved at the state level,” Biden responded, before mentioning another Republican governor. 

Biden has put the federal government in a central role on pandemic mitigation measures. The Education Department opened civil rights probes into several states for banning school mask mandates. The president continues to mandate masks in airports, airplanes and on public transportation – and his administration increased fines for those who don’t comply. 

The president during the call Monday projected confidence in the United States’ ability to handle the omicron variant, saying that it “is a source of concern, but it should not be a source of panic.” CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

In other developments:
– Biden says states bear responsibility for COVID resolution, ‘The Five’ reacts
– Biden flatly denies report he rejected COVID testing boost months prior to holiday surge
– CBS News correspondent blasts ‘crushing‘ COVID policies on kids: ‘They have suffered and sacrificed the most’
– Biden admits he has ‘more work to do‘ amid persisting testing shortages
– White House clears press from Biden conference

VP Kamala Harris says US will be ‘off the map as a role model’ if voting rights bill is sunk
In her wide-ranging interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan on Sunday, Vice President Kamala Harris said America would lose its “role model” status if Congress fails to pass voting rights legislation.

With Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., essentially ending President Biden’s chances to pass Build Back Better, the administration appears to be pivoting to other policy areas. Harris was tasked with spearheading voting rights over the summer.

“In the days and weeks ahead, I will engage the American people, and I will work with voting rights organizations, community organizations, and the private sector to help strengthen and uplift efforts on voting rights nationwide. And we will also work with members of Congress to help advance these bills,” the vice president said in June, claiming that voting rights were “under assault.”

She urged lawmakers to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

In her latest comments on her voting rights mission, she warned Americans that if Congress doesn’t get it together on the bill, the country will be kicked down off its pedestal.

“We have been a role model saying, ‘You can see this and aspire to this and reject autocracies and autocratic leadership,'” Harris said in a pre-recorded interview with Brennan, which aired on Sunday. “Right now, we’re about to take ourselves off the map as a role model if we let people destroy one of the most important pillars of a democracy, which is free and fair elections.” CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

In other developments:
– NY Times: Kamala Harris gripes her media coverage would be better if she was White man
– VP Harris facing criticism for calling democracy, climate crisis the largest national security threats
– Texas lawmaker says Dem voting rights bill an assault on democracy: We’re ‘tired of the swamp games’
– Tyrus blasts ‘excuses‘ for Kamala Harris’ perceived failures: ‘When does that stop?’
– Tom Homan: Cartels capitalizing on Biden’s open border


– Colorado shooting spree: At least 5 killed, including gunman, officer injured
– Ex-Playboy model and ‘Baywatch‘ ‘Karen’ faces assault charge in spat with foul-mouthed old man on Delta flight
– Santa kicked out of AT&T Stadium after putting Cowboys fan in headlock
– Colorado judge asked to consider lowering 110-year prison sentence for truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos
– Miami Beach mayor tells CNN that Gov. DeSantis has decided to ‘champion’ not taking vaccine
– Aircraft crashes in residential area in Southern California: report
– North Carolina man indicted in the murder of a 5-year-old who was on bike: report

– Airlines hit hard by cancellations again Monday, as COVID staffing issues threaten to bleed into new year
– Walmart sparks public outcry in China over products from Xinjiang
– Vaccine maker touts two-dose treatment as ‘very effective’ against omicron
– American Airlines, saddled with debt and growing pains, turns to new CEO
– These food items are getting more costly in 2022
– Oil prices may skyrocket to $100 in 2022 unless Biden changes course


Fox News host Trey Gowdy on Sunday evening discussed the feelings of “hope” that accompany Christmas, urging viewers to cling to the season’s sense of optimism and possibility heading into the new year.

“This is a magical season we are in, a season of miracles, and kindness, and hope,” Gowdy said on “Sunday Night in America.” “As we close one year and stand on the doorstep of a new one, there are stories of hope, and love, and faith all around us that’s enough to make even a cynic hopeful.”

“It’s the kindness of the American people that gives me hope. And it’s there – even when we don’t hear or read about it. It is there. These three things remain when all else fades – Faith, hope, and love,” Gowdy added. 

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Fox News First was compiled by Fox News’ David Aaro. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Wednesday.

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