Randy Yohe Published

COVID-19 Update: Relaxed CDC Guidelines, Booster Benefits, Long COVID-19 Studies

CDC headquarters in Atlanta in April. The CDC review made some recommendations so such a failure doesn't happen again.

West Virginia health experts say as the national number of COVID-19 cases drops, relaxed CDC guidelines still call for vigilance.

During Gov. Jim Justice’s Monday coronavirus briefing, West Virginia coronavirus czar Dr. Clay Marsh anticipated the state’s COVID-19 case numbers will follow a national trend and also soon decline.

“As we look at the Walgreens COVID positivity index, we find that their index from Walgreens stores around the country last week was 37 percent,” Marsh said. “West Virginia was still 42 percent, so we still are hanging up there. But we can anticipate over the next week, or a bit more, to see our numbers start to decline. That doesn’t mean that it’s still not important for people to protect themselves. “

Marsh said new CDC guidelines note that if a person has been exposed to somebody with COVID-19, and neither have any symptoms, the one exposed should wear a mask for 10 days – but doesn’t have to isolate – even without up-to-date vaccinations.

He also mentioned a new CDC guideline for children.

“The CDC also suggests that in schools, children who may be exposed to somebody who has COVID-19 but do not have symptoms, do not have to test to stay in school,” Marsh said.

Marsh said he’s now seen five separate studies indicating that for West Virginia’s over 50 years old, getting a second booster greatly reduces the chance of hospitalization and death.

He indicated that a new study from the Netherlands came out and suggested that one in eight people who have had COVID-19, even mild COVID-19, reported symptoms of long COVID.

“They found that the most common symptoms in those people were chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue,” Marsh said. “In this study they also felt that long COVID was less common in children than in adults.”