Wednesday, March 6, 2024

It’s Official: We Can Pretty Much Treat Covid Like the Flu Now. Here’s a Guide: New guidelines from the CDC Friday bring Covid precautions in line with those of other respiratory viruses; The CDC has Relaxed COVID Guidelines. Will Schools and Day Cares Follow Suit? And other C-Virus related stories

Photo: Irfan Khan/ Los Angeles Times/ Getty Images
WSJ: It’s Official: We Can Pretty Much Treat Covid Like the Flu Now. Here’s a Guide:
New guidelines from the CDC Friday bring Covid precautions in line with those of other respiratory viruses
A case of Covid no longer means isolating for five days, according to the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Friday. It’s the latest sign of the virus’s normalization four years after it upended our lives.
You should now follow the same precautions with Covid as you take with the flu, according to new guidelines from the CDC. That means staying home until you’ve gone a day with no fever and symptoms start to improve. Take other precautions for the next five days, including wearing a mask and limiting close contact with others.
Those are the same steps the CDC recommends for other respiratory viruses.
“Covid-19 is still an important public health threat, but it is not the emergency that it once was,” said Dr. Brendan Jackson, who leads the respiratory virus response for the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, on Friday.
“And its health impacts increasingly resemble those of other [respiratory viral] illnesses, including influenza and RSV.”
Plenty of Americans dropped Covid testing and isolation periods long ago as the virus became more routine. Many schools and workplaces hadn’t been enforcing the stricter CDC guidance, and some states have already relaxed their Covid guidance.
Many doctors say that at this point, common sense should guide you. If you feel sick, stay home. When you’re feeling well enough to go out but still have some symptoms, it’s a good idea to wear a mask indoors to protect others. Be more cautious if you’re going to be around more vulnerable people, such as those who are immunocompromised or elderly.
Even if you’re not worried about health risks, there’s still the disruption of getting sick. So if you have a big trip coming up, an important job deadline looming or you just don’t want to juggle work and a sniffily kid, adjust your precautions to fit your tolerance level.
Just like the flu? --->READ MORE HERE (or HERE)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File
The CDC has relaxed COVID guidelines. Will schools and day cares follow suit?
Four years after the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools and upended child care, the CDC says parents can start treating the virus like other respiratory illnesses.
Gone are mandated isolation periods and masking. But will schools and child care centers agree?
In case you’ve lost track: Before Friday, all Americans, including school children, were supposed to stay home for at least five days if they had COVID-19 and then mask for a set period of time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Now, with COVID deaths and hospitalizations dropping, the CDC says children can go back to school when their overall symptoms improve and they’re fever-free for 24 hours without taking medication. Students are “encouraged” to wear a mask when they return.
Still, the change may not affect how individual schools urge parents to react when their children fall sick. Schools and child care providers have a mixed record on following CDC recommendations and often look to local authorities for the ultimate word. And sometimes other goals, such as reducing absences, can influence a state or district’s decisions.
The result can be a confusing array of policies among states and districts, not to mention workplaces — confounding parents whose lives have long been upended by the virus.
“This is so confusing,” said Gloria Cunningham, a single mom in the Boston area. “I just don’t know what I should think of COVID now. Is it still a monster?”
Cunningham, who manages a local store for a national restaurant chain, said her company requires her to take off 10 days if she gets COVID-19. And the school system where her son is in second grade has still been sending home COVID test kits for kids to use before returning to school after long breaks.
“I feel like we should just do away with anything that treats COVID differently or keep all of the precautions,” she said.
The public education system has long held varying policies on COVID. During the 2021-2022 school year, only 18 states followed CDC recommendations for mask-wearing in class. When the CDC lifted its masking guidelines in February of 2022, states like Massachusetts followed suit, but California kept the mask requirement for schools. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

CDC recommends seniors get another Covid-19 shot

COVID pandemic triggered spike in antidepressant use among young females, study finds

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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