NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Many businesses and schools are sticking with CDC guidance which says you should test for COVID if you have symptoms, stay home for a week if you test positive and then wear a mask for five more days upon return.
More and more however, people are skipping the tests and what they perceive as big hassles that come with it.
“Ignorance is bliss in some ways, not that that’s an official position, but you can sort of see it evolving to that in regards to our patient population,” said Dr. John Snelling with EVMS Family Medicine.
Snelling is not telling anyone to stop testing for COVID officially. In fact, from a doctor’s perspective, he said it provides helpful information.
“But I certainly understand the challenges with the number of sick days and having kids taken care of and not being able to get them to school,” Snelling said.
The real issue, Snellings told WAVY, is that medicine has sped past policy.
“We need to update our policy and catch it up a little more to the medicine to the science these days.” he said.
It’s still important to protect those at-risk. Snelling said the elderly and immuno-compromised should definitely test because they can get a prescription for Paxlovid that may keep them from getting sick enough to end up in the hospital.
For instance, most schools follow CDC guidance that directs students with COVID to stay home for five days and then wear a mask for five more days, despite large studies that show they don’t work.
“So kids who come back to school wearing a cloth mask or a surgical mask really aren’t protecting themselves or protecting others by doing that,” Snelling said.
With regard to masks and masking, the CDC says that “loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection, layered finely woven products offer more protection, well-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s offer even more protection and well-fitting NIOSH-approved (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-approved) respirators (including N95s) offer the highest level of protection.” The CDC has tips on improving how your mask protects you.
The polices, he said, may also cost families in regards to finances or work dynamics while, most who get COVID now will get through it relatively well at home with lots of rest, fluids and some ibuprofen.
So to test or not to test?
“That’s a personal decision for the parents, and if they want to sort of consult with their physician as well, they can have that conversation,” he said.
10 On Your Side reached out to the CDC Tuesday morning to inquire about a possible update to the federal guidance on COVID, but we have yet to receive a response.