Health officials raise concerns after CDC issues new guidelines

JACKSON, Tenn. — New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is cutting COVID-19 quarantine time in half.


They are now recommending for people that test positive for COVID-19 to isolate for five days instead of 10.

“If you are not having any symptoms or your symptoms are resolving and you do not have fever, you can come out of isolation, but you need to wear a mask if you are around anybody else for the next five days,” said Kim Tedford, Regional Director of the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department.

For those that have not been vaccinated or received their booster, the CDC recommends they follow the same isolation period for those that test positive.

If you have been exposed but have received a booster shot, as well as show no symptoms, you are only required to wear a mask for 10 days.

Tedford says there is still little information on the omicron variant, which brings up concerns about the new recommendations.

“People are getting sicker quicker, but we don’t know how long they are contagious to other people. So that is the concern that a lot of the science field has about the new recommendations,” Tedford said.

Hospital 1

With the omicron variant spreading quickly, Tedford says since last Wednesday, over 400 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Madison County.

She adds that the number will only continue to rise.

“We are steadily getting positives in. Yesterday was a huge day. Today looks like it is going to be a huge day. It is out there, and it is spreading like wildfire,” Tedford said.

She says they are currently unsure if the increase in cases are omicron, but the variant has been reported in the state.

She says the best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated, as well as get the booster shot.

Hospital 2

“You have about a 35% protection, but when you get that booster shot, then that bumps that up about 75% percent. That is why it is so important to get your booster shot,” Tedford said.

The health department will be closed Friday and next Monday for the holidays.

It will be open Thursday and next week during their normal hours to give vaccines.

You can get more information from the Jackson-Madison County Public Information Line at (731) 240-1771.

You can also find a vaccine near you by using this tool.

For more information on COVID-19, go to the CDC website, the Tennessee Department of Health website or call (877) 857-2945.

Additional COVID-19 information can be found in the “COVID-19” tab of the website.

You can find local news through the WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News app.

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