Coronavirus update: CDC to decrease quarantine time; UPS ramps up dry ice production
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has set a goal of reducing quarantine requirements for people who may be exposed to the virus from 14 days to 7-10 days.
The change of days continues in addition to taking a test as health officials seek to better serve an increasingly compliant, increasingly tired population, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The decision will also be guided by a better understanding of the stages of virus incubation and transmission. Symptoms usually appear within five days of exposure in October, but they can last up to 14 days, according to the CDC.
However, a recent study by the CDC, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, found that seven days of isolation would be sufficient.
“A 14-day quarantine after arrival without symptom monitoring or screening can reduce the risk by 97-100% alone. However, a shorter quarantine of 7 days combined with symptom monitoring and a test on day 3-4 after arrival is also effective (95-99%) in reducing the risk of introduction and is less stressful, which can improve compliance, "the researchers said.
An employee of the German logistics hardware manufacturer va-Q-tec had dry ice filled into a container at an extremely low temperature at the company's headquarters in Würzburg on November 18, 2020 in order to transport the vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). REUTERS / Kai Pfaffenbach
Dry ice requirements
As states prepare to receive the first shipments from Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) next month, logistics companies as well as cold storage and chemical companies are in high demand.
UPS, which plays a key role in shipments with FedEx, said in a statement Tuesday that it is preparing to produce 1,200 pounds of dry ice an hour at its facilities.
“UPS Healthcare can now produce up to £ 1,200. Dry ice per hour at U.S. facilities to aid in the storage and transportation of cold chain products such as frozen vaccines as per manufacturer's storage requirements. The increased production also enables UPS to make dry ice available to hospitals, clinics and other utilities in the US and Canada where dry ice is required for on-site vaccine storage, ”the company said.
The company is also working with Ohio-based Stirling Ultracold to provide portable freezers in the area that both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines (MRNA) need.
"UPS will partner with Stirling to offer the Stirling ULT25 and the Undercounter Model SU105 for thermal protection of critical vaccines that require extremely low temperatures between -20 ° C and -80 ° C," the company said.
The Swedish model
Earlier this year, Sweden's lax strategy to fight the spread of the coronavirus was lauded as exemplary by those campaigning for herd immunity.
But the Nordic country has changed its attitude. State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said herd immunity does not slow the effects of the virus as colder weather helps it spread.
Dr. Howard Forman, a public health policy expert and professor at Yale University, said there was a significant and important change to be seen as the country was previously viewed as a role model and recognized by Dr. Donald Trump's coronavirus advisor Dr. Scott was touted as Atlas.
"Sweden has been used as some kind of fake idol in this whole pandemic," Forman told Yahoo Finance.
And while the US and Sweden are trending in the wrong direction at roughly the same pace, it's worth noting that Sweden has taken some tough measures while the US continues to rely on state and local governments to decide what to do.
"Right now they look better than the US because they are very good at sending messages," Forman said, noting that much of the country is in some form of lockdown, even if they don't call it that.
One thing the US got right is pushing for more mask-wearing - which Swedes still haven't widely adopted, Forman said.
Even so, with the increase in travel expected for Thanksgiving, the US is preparing for a deterioration in case and hospitalization trends.
More from Anjalee:
Fauci: Vaccines only prevent symptoms, they don't block the virus
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