Shorter COVID quarantines will help airports, hospitals, UM medicine professor says

The highly contagious omicron variant causes mostly milder COVID-19 symptoms, and it spreads mostly for about five days — during the first few days before symptoms and up to three days afterward.

MIAMI – The highly contagious omicron variant causes mostly milder COVID-19 symptoms, and it spreads mostly for about five days — during the first few days before symptoms and up to three days afterward.

These are the scientific findings that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used to support a change in quarantine time. Instead of isolating for 10 days, the CDC recommends five days.

Dr. Dushyantha Jayaweera, the medical director of the clinical translational research site at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said the CDC had reliable evidence to support the decision.

“I think the CDC was right because obviously, they are not making this up, they are doing this based on data,” Jayaweera said.

"We want to make sure there is a mechanism by which we can safely continue to keep society functioning while following the science,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Monday.

By being more contagious, the increase in infections is causing staff shortages at airports, government, hospitals, and businesses.

This contributed to flight cancelations at Miami International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and others nationwide.

Jayaweera said the new policy will help solve these problems and improve stability.

“We want to make sure there is a mechanism by which we can safely continue to keep society functioning while following the science,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Monday.


About the Author:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.