ADPH Chief Medical Officer Talks New CDC COVID-19 Guidelines

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Days after the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) released its updated COVID-19 guidelines, the Alabama Department of Public Health stepped in.

In a Tuesday interview with News 19, Alabama Department of Public Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Karen Landers said, “This virus is going to be with us, it’s not going away.”

Dr. Landers said she urges people to follow new CDC guidelines and follow protective measures.

The CDC’s updated guidance gives new guidance on what to do if you have been exposed to COVID-19.

New CDC guidelines for exposures:

  • Recommending that instead of quarantining if you have been exposed to COVID-19, you wear a high quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 5.
  • Reiterating that regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate yourself from others when you have COVID-19.
    • You should also self-isolate if you are sick and suspect you have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results.
      • If your results are positive, follow the CDC’s full isolation recommendations.
      • If your results are negative, you can end your isolation.
  • Recommending that if you test positive for COVID-19, you stay home for at least 5 days and isolate yourself from others in your home. You are probably most contagious during those first 5 days. Wear a high quality mask when you need to be around other people at home and in public.
    • If after 5 days you have not had a fever for 24 hours without taking medication and your symptoms are improving or you have never had symptoms, you can end the isolation after the 5th day .
    • Regardless of when you end isolation, avoid being around people who are more likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19 until at least day 11.
    • You must wear a high quality mask until day 10.

The new guidelines suggest testing for COVID-19 five days after exposure. Dr Landers explained: “What we’ve seen with these recent variants is that the incubation period has gotten much shorter and we’ve seen people get infected between three and seven days.”

The chief medical officer also reminded people of the importance of following masking advice. “Wear your mask for the full ten days of this period, you could potentially develop COVID whether you are symptomatic or asymptomatic.”

She said masks have been around for many, many years in the medical industry because they work.

“Masks help, they have helped, and that’s again really an important measure for us, as an infection control measure.”

During the post-exposure period, listen to your body to see if you start to get sick.

“If you have symptoms, you should consider yourself a clinical case of COVID, if you have been exposed,” Dr. Landers said.