WASHINGTON, D.C. – The rapid spread of the Omicron variant is prompting calls from governors for federal help and new CDC guidance.
NewsChannel 34’s Jessi Turnure joins us with the latest.
“If you need something, say something.”
That’s President Biden’s message to the nation’s governors amid this latest COVID-19 surge, and they’re taking him up on it.
“Our Omicron case count and the demand for testing has increased.”
During a virtual meeting Monday, Arkansas Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson told the president his state is no exception.
Making COVID-19 rapid tests more available has been a challenge for every governor.
“Are getting pressured to do more.”
Next month the federal government is buying 500 million rapid test kits with plans to mail them out for free.
“Seeing how tough it was for some folks to get a test this weekend shows we have more work to do, and we’re doing it.”
If you test positive but don’t have symptoms, the CDC now recommends isolating for five days instead of ten.
Officials say the risk of spread drops substantially then, but some could still be contagious.
That’s why the new guidance also says to wear a mask everywhere for at least five more days.
Governor Hutchinson welcomed the president’s efforts to ramp up at-home testing but worried about states competing with the federal government for scarce resources.
“Obviously that dries up the supply chain for the solutions that we may offer as governors.”
The new CDC recommendations also impact those who may have been exposed to the virus.
Now the agency is saying only people who got booster shots can skip quarantine if they wear masks everywhere for at least ten days.
In Washington I’m Jessi Turnure.