DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – While the vaccinated and the boosted may remain asymptomatic or less ill after contracting COVID-19, they are still contagious — even more so with the omicron variant.
“We know the unvaccinated, they can have a more unfavorable course of infection themselves, but both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals can become positive and can be transmitters,” said Dr. Thomas Denny with the Duke Human Vaccine Institute.
So, does it really make any sense to only test the unvaccinated when they return to campuses or workplaces when an infected vaccinated individual may not know they are positive and can still spread the virus?
Denny said there’s another issue: the high demand, shortage of tests, and length of time it now takes to get the results mean people may have to rethink everything they’ve learned so far.
“The way that I’m starting to think of this is we’re going to have a lot of challenged systems over the next couple of months, is start targeting those that are symptomatic and testing those individuals and asking them to isolate until you have the results back and try to minimize transmission events that way. But not the way we were thinking about this 18 months ago,” he said.
Monday, the CDC announced it shortened the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to five days if they are asymptomatic.
“This is basically aimed at trying to get people back to work to try to be able to keep the country moving. So, if you’re going to have someone have a test and then wait four or five days to get the result, I think we’re going to be really challenged,” Denny said.