WASHINGTON — Federalofficials’ new, more relaxed recommendations on masks have all but d another major change in guidance from the government: Fully vaccinated Americans can largely skip getting tested for the . , the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention said that most people who have received the full course of shots and have nodon’t need to be screened for the virus, even if exposed to someone infected. The change represents a new phase in the epidemic after nearly a year in which . Vaccines are central to the response and have dramatically driven down hospitalizations and deaths. Experts say the reflects a new reality: nearly half of Americans have received at least one shot, and almost 40% are fully vaccinated.
“At this point, we really should be asking ourselves whether the benefits ofwhich are lots of disruptions, lots of confusion, and very little clinical or public health benefit,” said Dr. A. David Paltiel of Yale’s School of Public Health, who championed widespread .
Whilecan still catch the virus, they face little risk of serious illness. And results can lead to what many experts now say are unnecessary worry and interruptions at work, home, and school, such as quarantines and shutdowns.
Otherfor masks and testing have sent the message that COVID-19 is no longer a major threat, even as the U.S. reports of nearly 30,000.
“The average Joe Public interprets what thesays as ‘This is done. It’s over,'” said Dr. Michael Mina of Harvard University, a leading advocate of widespread, rapid testing.
With more than 60% of, he thinks screening those without symptoms still has a role, particularly among front-line workers dealing with the public.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the updated guidelines are based on studies showing the robust in preventing disease in various age groups and settings. Even when vaccinated people , their infections tend to be milder, shorter, and less likely to spread to others.
As a result, thepeople can generally be excluded from routine workplace screening for COVID-19.
That change could eliminate testing headaches like the recently reported by the New York Yankees, when one player and several staffers tested positive on a highly sensitive COVID-19 test,.