Bainter: Covid Now A Part of Seasonal Respiratory Illnesses

By Benjamin Cox on March 11, 2024 at 10:00am

The Centers For Disease Control changed protocols surrounding Covid-19 on March 1st.

The CDC is no longer recommending a five-day isolation period for anyone diagnosed with COVID-19. Instead, the new recommendation is that people with COVID can return to normal activities if they are fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their symptoms are improving.

If a person does end quarantine, it’s recommended they practice enhanced hygiene, wear a well-fitting mask and, when possible, keep their distance from others, especially people 65 and older or those with weakened immune systems.

The change was made after officials said the current strain of the virus is far less likely to cause severe illness. Morgan County Health Department Administrator Dale Bainter says that Covid has become a part of the cyclical nature of respiratory viruses that everyone deals with each year: “We saw a lot of activity since the beginning of the year with the flu, seen a lot of Covid activity again. There’s that ‘C’ word that keeps coming up. It’s cyclical, right? As everyone gets exposed to it and we see these spikes in increased activity, and then, let’s face it, everyone or the majority of us get it – whether it be Covid, flu, etc. and then we see a decline, and then the activity goes down a little bit. Then, we wait for the next wave.”

According to CDC statistics in early March, weekly hospital admissions for COVID were down by more than 75% from the peak of the initial Omicron wave in January 2022 and deaths are down by more than 90%. A year ago, COVID was the third leading cause of death in the United States. Now, it is the tenth.