CDC Says New Guidelines Do Not Endorse COVID Immunity

New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines now recommend that those who have been infected with COVID-19 and recovered in the past three months do not need to quarantine or get retested, however, the agency clarified that it is not taking a position on immunity.

The clarification follows media reports that took the new guidelines as an endorsement of the idea that those who recover from the virus have some degree of immune protection.

The CDC said that its new guidelines simply reflect a growing understanding that recovered patients can still come up positive on tests, even when they are no longer infectious. 

“The thought is that people don’t need to be continually tested after they’ve recovered from COVID, because some people are liable to be positive on the test for quite some time after they’ve recovered, but that does not mean that they’re contagious,” Dr. William Schaffner, professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine, said. 

He told KCBS Radio that temporary immunity for those who have recovered is likely, but the science is still too young to say anything for sure. 

“COVID-19, frankly, is a rogue,” Dr. Schaffner said. “It’s behaved in its own ways, so we need to really find out how much protection you do have after COVID-19.”