New CDC guidelines— Harmful Or Helpful?

The CDC issues new quarantine guidelines for 2022


Megan Geisler

New Covid guidelines are put into place for 2022

Megan Geisler, Reporter

On Dec. 27th the CDC issued new quarantine guidelines that “shortened and improved isolation periods.” These guidelines are supposed to help with the spread of COVID-19 and assist the country in returning to normal. But were these guidelines really effective in stopping the spread or did they just make things worse?

The guidelines now state that if you test positive for COVID-19 you must isolate five days from when your symptoms started or, if you are asymptomatic, five days from your positive test. After these five days, you may return as long as you have been symptom-free for 24 hours. When you return, you must wear a mask for the remaining five days of infection. 

The reasoning for this decision was backed by “science” that stated the majority of transmissions occurred in the first few days of infection. (According to the CDC announcement) Note the word majority. This means that people can still transmit and spread the disease after the first five days. It is less likely but it can still happen. This raises concern amongst some students knowing they are going to school with other people who have COVID-19 and can easily spread it to them.

The original guidelines and isolation periods prevented this from happening by keeping those who tested positive at home during the entire period of infection. Now students and staff are returning before those periods are over. 

Another factor to be considered with these new guidelines is when students return to school will they actually wear their masks? Will they wear it the proper way 100% of the time? What about lunch?

The guidelines were very clear that in order to return to school and daily life on day six, a mask must be worn at all times. During lunch, students must take their masks off to eat, so what happens then? Without a mask on, students are much more likely to spread the virus and the people around them are no longer safe from that spread. 

Guidelines also changed for those who are exposed to COVID-19. Now if you are up to date on all vaccinations, you do not need to quarantine but it is strongly recommended that you wear a mask in public. Those who are not fully vaccinated must quarantine for five days while watching their symptoms. If they develop symptoms, they are recommended to get tested but if they do not they are free to end their isolation.  

Liberty High School has also made some changes in its own COVID-19 guidelines. As of 2022, the school will no longer be contact tracing or identifying close contacts. They will also not be quarantining anyone who becomes exposed to COVID-19 as long as they don’t have symptoms.

What they are doing instead is sending out exposure notifications in the form of an email to let students know if they have become exposed. The only thing is these emails tell you you have been exposed but they don’t tell you where or when. 

“They can be useful to let you know you have been exposed but the fact that they don’t tell you what class, or where, makes them essentially useless.””

— AJ Fruehwirth

“They can be useful to let you know you have been exposed but the fact that they don’t tell you what class, or where, makes them essentially useless,” junior AJ Fruehwirth expressed. “In the end, I don’t take them too seriously. It’s just the manner of things now I guess.”

To some people though, these new guidelines are just what we needed. It brings the world a new sense of normalcy in a way. Some people believe that COVID-19 is just a daily part of life now and something we have to live with. So by making these guidelines less strict we are slowly coming back to normal. These people have a completely valid argument, but at what cost?