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CDC Weighs Losening Guidelines for Some04/08 06:18

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is 
considering changing its guidelines for self-isolation to make it easier for 
those who have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus to return to work 
if they are asymptomatic.

   The public health agency, in conjunction with the White House coronavirus 
task force, is considering an announcement as soon as Wednesday, Vice President 
Mike Pence said on Tuesday. 

   Under the proposed guidance, people who are exposed to someone infected 
would be allowed back on the job if they are asymptomatic, test their 
temperature twice a day and wear a face mask, said a person familiar with the 
proposal under consideration. The person described the proposal on the 
condition of anonymity because the draft had not been finalized. 

   The new policy is aimed in particular at workers in critical jobs. But it 
also comes as the Trump administration is eyeing what it calls a 
"stabilization" in infection rates and looks toward rolling back some of the 
restrictive social distancing guidelines and restarting the nation's stalled 
economy.

   The proposed guidance would follow recommendations made by the CDC that 
eased self-isolation requirements for front-line medical workers who were 
exposed to the virus. Under CDC guidance, medical workers who have been exposed 
to the virus without protective equipment but who have no symptoms can return 
to work with a mask and temperature checks after 14 days.

   Pence on Tuesday said the White House is focusing on the "point of need" for 
the current situation but also is operating on another track to consider future 
recommendations for the public.

   "Some of the best minds here at the White House are beginning to think about 
what recommendations will look like that we give to businesses, that we give to 
states, but it will all, I promise you, be informed on putting the health and 
well-being of the American people first," Pence said.

   For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such 
as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially 
older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe 
illness, including pneumonia, and death.

   In fashioning the recommendations, the administration appeared to be trying 
to balance political concerns about wanting to preserve as much normalcy as 
possible with public health concerns that some infections are being spread by 
people who seem to be healthy.


(KR)

 
 
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