New and (Un)Improved CDC Guidelines

Sarah Fidahussain, Student Life Editor

With COVID-19 cases increasing catastrophically in numbers, shouldn’t the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) suggested precautions be getting stricter? 

In Madison County alone the positivity rates have gone up to 12.98% as of Sept. 2. 

Instead, the CDC released a new guideline that says there is no need to get tested if you have been within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes of an infected person if you do not display any symptoms.

This new guideline may sound like (and be) a joke, but it is true.

According to the CDC’s new guidelines, “you do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or state or local public health officials recommend you take one.”

This creates issues everywhere, including Edwardsville High School.

If people who know they have been exposed continue to come to school because they are not showing symptoms, they have the potential to be asymptomatic or presymptomatic, putting everyone in the classroom at risk.

According to a study published by the CDC two months ago, “Recent epidemiologic, virologic, and modeling reports support the possibility of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 transmission from persons who are presymptomatic or asymptomatic.” 

This means that it is possible for people who are presymptomatic (have not shown symptoms yet) and asymptomatic (never show symptoms) to spread the virus.

Students with weaker immune systems also fear that these new regulations are too lax and will undermine how seriously the virus is taken.

Junior Jenae Wright experiences asthma, severe allergies and a weak immune system. She believes the new CDC guidelines “will cause schools to be less careful in testing their students” and will “provide an excuse to not require other individuals to get tested if exposed to the virus even when showing no symptoms.”

Sophomore Olivia Dowdy, who suffers from severe asthma, also believes “there isn’t room for uncertainty about who has COVID and who is fine.” While she understands getting tested regularly is overwhelming for testing sites, she believes “it should be the goal of the CDC to make testing available to everyone.”

Students like Wright and Dowdy are victims of the CDC’s thoughtless guidelines that are meant to protect vulnerable people like themselves.

Reckless students can easily attend school without blinking an eye, knowing they are exposed, and infect students like Wright and Dowdy, putting their lives to a dangerous halt. With these new CDC guidelines, these students would not even have to suffer the consequences of being mindless and careless.

On Sept. 2, Dr. Stuart sent a letter to parents about two students at EHS who have COVID-19. The CDC guidelines must be tougher otherwise students at our own school could infect an at-risk student or a student who lives with at-risk people. 

While the world understandably needs to keep turning, safety should be number one and it is obvious the CDC is not looking out for it.