The CDC has issued new guidelines ahead of the new year.
On Thursday, December 30, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines encouraging individuals to stop taking cruise trips to help contain the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.
In a statement provided by spokesperson Dave Daigle, the CDC said: “Today, CDC increased the Cruise Travel Health Notice (THN) to a Level 4, recommending people avoid cruise travel regardless of vaccination status.”
According to officials at the CDC, only 162 cases were reported between November 30 and December 14. Between December 15 and December 29, over 5,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported from ships sailing in waters around the United States.
COVID-19 Cases Hit Unprecedented Levels As 2021 Draws To A Close
As The Blast previously reported, a record seven-day average of more than 265,000 positive COVID-19 cases per day in the United States. This total surpasses the average of 252,000 cases a day that was seen on January 11, 2021.
It is believed that the recent spread of both the Delta and new Omicron variant is what is causing this spike in infections. More than 75,000 Americans are hospitalized with the virus and over 1,500 deaths per day have been reported. If that figure holds, at least 10,500 people will die from COVID-19 each week.
The CDC also reported that only 62% of the United States population is fully vaccinated with either two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky Talks New COVID-19 Guidelines
“It really had a lot to do with what we thought people would be able to tolerate,” CDC Director Walensky says on why the CDC shortened the isolation period from 10 days to 5 days if you’re asymptomatic. Our full interview: pic.twitter.com/rO7blPFiPj
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) December 29, 2021
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky recently answered questions about the new COVID-19 guidelines, which reduce the isolation period from ten days to five days. It also introduced a new guideline that says that people who are both vaccinated and boosted do not have to isolate after coming into contact with an infected person. They are, however, still encouraged to wear a mask in public.
“We really do need people to follow these recommendations for them to work. But I would also say that those people who are not masking, who are out and about are probably not the ones isolating either,” Walensky explained.
“So what we really wanted to do is make sure that these recommendations were more easily followed. We don’t want them out and about when they are maximally infectious.”
Under these new guidelines, Walensky explained that individuals are not being asked to retest after they have been isolated for five days; however, they do want you to get tested within five days after you think you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Cruise Lines Disappointed With New COVID-19 Guidelines
In a statement, the Cruise Lines International Association said it was “disappointed” by the CDC’s new recommendation.
“The decision by the CDC to raise the travel level for cruises is particularly perplexing considering that cases identified on cruise ships consistently make up a very slim minority of the total population onboard – far fewer than on land – and the majority of those cases are asymptomatic or mild in nature, posing little to no burden on medical resources onboard or onshore,” they said.
They added that “no setting can be immune from this virus” and said that their cruise lines have protocols in place to try to stop the spread of COVID-19, including testing and vaccination checks.
“While we are disappointed and disagree with the decision to single out the cruise industry – an industry that continues to go above and beyond compared to other sectors – CLIA and our ocean-going cruise line members remain committed to working collaboratively with the CDC in the interest of public health and safety,” they concluded.