The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering adding screening requirements to its new isolation guidelines with patients with asthmptomatic Covid-19, said Drs. Anthony Fauci on Sunday.
The CDC has shortened its recommendation for isolation from 10 days to 5 days last week for people who have been tested for Covid but do not show any symptoms. Fauci, President Joe Biden's senior medical adviser, said the organization was discussing adding to its guidelines.
"The CDC is well aware that there has been some backlash on that," Fauci said Sunday in ABC News' "This week." "Looking back, there may be an option to that, that testing could be part of that."
It is not yet clear whether direct testing may require isolation or whether asymptomatic patients may be free to move as long as they are covered with a mask.
Last week, Drs. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said the new guidelines do not require testing at the end of the classification because Covid PCR testing can be hopeful for up to 12 weeks, long before people become infected.
"And we do not know whether antigen testing is a good sign of infection in this stage of infection," he said at a White House forum. "On the other hand, we know that after five days, people are less likely to transmit the virus and that masking themselves reduces the risk."
The CDC's decision to end the isolation period was met with comfort and confusion last week, as some health experts said it was not based on science and could cause asymptomatic individuals to transmit coronavirus to others.
Fauci also defended the CDC's decision in Tuesday's interview on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes," which included a decision not to include the test. The new, shorter separation order was the result of concerns that high levels of transmission of different microbial omicons could "have a negative impact on our ability to maintain social cohesion," Fauci said.
He told Hayes that the approval of the tests does not include whether the test can predict whether a person is infected.
The CDC said the probability of testing the infection was "significant, with significant weight gain over the first five days," Fauci said.
"Once you get into the last phase of that, the predictable amount of that in telling you whether you are infected or not, there is no real data to say that. Very little is known about that," he said. "And that was the basis for the CDC decision."