New CDC guidance leaves under-staffed businesses hopeful


JACKSONVILLE N.C. (WNCT) — New guidelines from the CDC say asymptomatic people who have tested positive for COVID-19 now only need to isolate for five days rather than the previously advised ten days.

This comes as great news to businesses that have been experiencing staffing issues, although some uncertainty still remains.

“What we know is that people are most contagious and spread disease most in those couple of days before they have symptoms,” said Kristen Richmond-Hoover, director of the Onslow County Health Department. “And in those couple of days after their symptom onset, so it’s really in those, those early days is when people are most infectious.

“So this move to decrease the time for isolation is to try to allow people more freedom of movement, and to also continue to protect folks, you know, during that time when they would be most infectious.”

President of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce, Tom Kies said with this brand new update, businesses are still unsure what to expect. He imagines this will make a big difference in staffing issues.

“We’re already having staffing problems,” said Kies. “We’ve seen that throughout the entire year, this past year. And if we can shorten the quarantine times that can really only help the businesses that we have here in Carteret County.”

Kies also said business has actually been great in Carteret County throughout the pandemic, but there has been one major struggle.

“The last two years from a tourism standpoint have been record-breaking years for us,” said Kies. “We’ve had more people here visiting than we’ve ever had. And so business is really, really good. That being said, it’s been a struggle, because, you know, there’s just a shortage of people to do the jobs.”

The new guidelines do say, however, that even after the five-day quarantine, individuals will need to continue wearing a mask for an additional five days.

The state of North Carolina will also adapt its own regulations, but Hoover said she expects it will match the guidance from the CDC.

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