Coronavirus News Update – Dec. 2: CDC Shortens Recommended Quarantine Time, U.K. Approves Pfizer Vaccine

By Anna Breuer on 2 December 2020
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The Centers for Disease Control on Wednesday shortened the recommended quarantine period to seven to ten days from 14.  The updated guidance reflects recent scientific findings on the time it takes for Covid-19 infections to develop and also aims to encourage compliance.  Officials at the CDC said they still support the longer option as being the safest.  “We can safely reduce the length of quarantine, but accepting that there is a small residual risk that a person who is leaving quarantine early could transmit to someone else if they became infected,” said Dr. John Brooks, the CDC’s chief medical officer for the Covid-19 response.

The United Kingdom became the first country in the West to approve Pfizer’s vaccine. The move paves the way for a vaccination campaign in Britain with no modern precedent. “Help is on the way,” said the country’s health secretary, Matt Hancock.

As hospitalizations and infections surge across the country – there were over 184,000 new infections in the United States Tuesday – California officials are warning of severe shortages of beds and staff.

President Trump’s former campaign manager, Brad Pascale, told Fox News he blames the president’s lack of empathy for his loss in the recent presidential election. “I think if he had been publicly empathetic, he would have won,” Pascale said.

New research suggests the coronavirus may have been present in the United States as early as December 13, a month earlier than had previously been thought.  The findings come from an analysis of blood samples collected in American Red Cross blood banks.  The virus does not appear to have been spreading at the time.

Dr. Scott Atlas, a member of the White House coronavirus who espoused discredited theories on the transmission of the virus and treatment, resigned on Monday.  In the late summer, Dr. Deborah Birx said she would never again sit in a meeting with Atlas and listen to him pontificate on his views of the pandemic.

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