Changes to CDC quarantine guidelines for COVID-19 confuse some Michigan business owners

Posted at 3:26 PM, Jan 04, 2022

(WXYZ) — The CDC recently changed its guidelines on quarantine, shortening the number of isolation days for the infected from 10 days to 5 days. This change led to confusion for many health officials and jokes from people online. But for one local business owner, the evolving CDC guidelines are no joking matter.

"They're a little confusing because things are so rapidly changing and so quickly changing," co-owner of Cork and Gabel Matthew McGrail said. "Over the Christmas break, unfortunately, we had three staff members contract COVID or come into contact with people who had COVID."

Infected employees had to quarantine.

At the start of the pandemic, that would've meant 14 days of self-isolation. Later, the CDC reduced that to 10 days. Now, The latest quarantine guideline calls for 5 days of isolation. At that point, if symptoms are resolving, the infected are to wear a mask in public for the remaining 5 days regardless of vaccination status.

"It's good news for businesses because you get people back to work quicker," McGrail said. "However, we're trying to base ourselves off of what's going on and what we're being told."

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced plans to adopt the new CDC quarantine guidelines.


In an email to 7 Action News, the statement said in part: "While the CDC is working on additional information to clarify parts of their updated COVID-19 quarantine and isolation guidance released (last) week, MDHHS strongly encourages all residents to continue to follow Michigan's current quarantine and isolation guidance to keep themselves and their family as safe as possible."

"The science is demonstrating that the majority of the transmission of the virus, associated with COVID occurs early in the course of illness," CEO of Health Centers Detroit Herbert Smitherman Jr. MD said.

He says the change is prompted by advanced knowledge of the virus.

"On average, generally about 1 to 2 days prior to the onset of symptoms is when you're most infectious or you can transmit easy, and generally 2 to 3 days after symptoms start," he said.

If you were exposed to someone with COVID, but you are vaccinated and boosted, the CDC guidelines only require you to mask up for 10 days. No isolation is necessary.