CDC Tosses Out Most COVID-19 Guidance — Now it’s ‘Personal Choice’

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sharply reversed course on Thursday, tossing away most previous guidance dealing with screenings and quarantines over COVID-19.

Decisions are placed back in the hands of individuals on issues such as masking and quarantines. For example, the quarantine rule for the unvaccinated is gone. This means that the fully vaccinated and unvaccinated are treated the same with respect to isolation.

The revised guidance says schools and other institutions no longer need to screen students and employees who appear healthy, and social distancing is fading away. There is also no longer a recommendation to test-to-stay at schools after being exposed.

The agency said it is now focused on the highly vulnerable members of the population, not those who even if infected are not likely to become very ill.

The CDC acknowledges that coronavirus is here to stay, but in a statement by Greta Massetti, the pandemic has reached a point where it “no longer severely disrupts our daily lives.”

Dr. Marcus Plescia of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, said that moving towards individual choice is “where we are in the pandemic.” He further acknowledged that there are few jurisdictions on any level that feel a reason to make new mandates.

The most striking point of the new guidelines is the equivalence given to those who are fully vaccinated and those who did not get their doses. Experts say this is due to the high level of the population that had either been vaccinated, had coronavirus and developed immunity, or both.

Massetti said that figure reached roughly 95% of the population, which should be in line with the much-ballyhooed “herd immunity” that was bandied about during the peak of the pandemic.

She said now it “really makes the most sense not to differentiate” since most have a level of protection against the severest levels of COVID-19.

Perhaps the biggest change that will be seen with the new guidance is in public schools. The new action by the CDC should remove the final hurdle in the way of in-person learning.

There will still be some holdovers who want to mask everyone and stay six feet away, but the CDC’s changes feel like an official declaration that the pandemic era is over. Freedom and personal choice, which were important all along, are now back where they should be.