© Reuters. People wait in line at a coronavirus (COVID-19) test station at Cal State University San Marcos in San Marcos, California, USA, January 5, 2022. REUTERS / Mike Blake
(Reuters) – The American Medical Association (AMA) on Wednesday criticized the government’s guidelines on quarantine and isolation in the United States, saying the guidelines were “confusing” and risked further spread of COVID-19.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stopped recommending a rapid antigen test for individuals seeking to end their COVID-19 isolation after five days.
“A negative test should be required to complete isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. Recurrence without knowing its status unnecessarily risks further transmission of the virus,” the AMA said.
The CDC last week reduced the recommended isolation period for people with asymptomatic COVID to five days from 10 and on Tuesday supported the decision, which said that a review of 113 studies from 17 countries showed that most transmission occurs early in the course of infection.
The AMA said doctors are concerned that these recommendations put patients at risk and could further overwhelm the healthcare system.
The omicron variant of coronavirus has spread rapidly across the United States, leading to an increase in hospitalizations and a lack of test kits.
The AMA urged the US government to use all means to increase the production and distribution of COVID-19 tests, adding that a “lack of testing at the moment does not justify omitting a test requirement to leave a now shortened isolation”.
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