Many health officials feel the CDC bowed to political pressure.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday adjusted the recommended times that people should isolate when they've tested positive for Covid-19 from 10 days to five days as long as they do not have symptoms and provided they wear a mask around others for at least five more days.
The CDC also reduced the recommended time for people to quarantine if they are exposed to the virus to a similar five days if they are vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated and boosted may not need to quarantine at all, the CDC said.
"Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to five days, if asymptomatic, followed by five days of wearing a mask when around others," the CDC said in a statement.
Some health officials were bothered by the fact that they were not consulted prior to this change. "We are very much trying to digest it now and what it means and how to communicate it effectively," Lori Freeman, chief executive officer of the the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), told CNN on Wednesday.
Gigi Gronvall, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said "For flu, sometimes like when we were concerned about pandemic flu, there were expert meetings or calls ... before they were rolled out."