In the last week, states such as Ohio, Maryland, Delaware and Georgia have mobilized National Guard members to assist hospitals with patient care.
“We still face a very serious situation with Covid-19 in Delaware, especially in our hospital facilities,” Gov. John Carney said Monday as around 100 members of the National Guard are training to become certified nursing assistants.
Ohio Air National Guard Cpt. Lanette Looney, who is overseeing the mission at the hospital where 28 Guard members are helping with medical and non-medical tasks, noted they have faced Covid-19 infections as well.
“Within two days of being here, we had four Guard members that were symptomatic with sore throats, headaches, body aches, fever, nasal congestion, and they all tested positive for Covid,” she told CNN’s Gary Tuchman.
Teams of military medical personnel are working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to aid with health care staffing in multiple states, US Army North said in a statement Tuesday, including Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
A 15-person team from the Air Force is due to support a hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire, and another 20-person team from the Navy will assist a medical center in Buffalo, New York, the statement said.
CDC updates Covid-19 isolation recommendations
Infections continue to accumulate at a rapid pace. The Omicron variant accounted for more than 95% of new cases last week, which is a rate significantly higher than the week prior, according to estimates posted Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Recent CDC guidelines suggest an isolation period of five days after the onset of suspected symptoms or the date of a positive test, and one should wear a mask around others or in public for an additional five days if they are not showing symptoms. If an individual still has symptoms such as fever after five days, they should continue to quarantine until they are fever-free for at least 24 hours.
The recommendations do not advise a test for isolated people, but they offer guidance on how those people should respond to a test result if they choose to take one. If it’s positive, people are advised to continue their isolation until 10 days after their symptoms started. If the test is negative, people can end the isolation but are advised to wear a mask around others until day 10.
Students and teachers face complications of Omicron
In the midst of the surge, some school districts have chosen to return to remote learning for the time being. Yet this has created friction on numerous fronts.
Underpinning the difficult conversation over whether it’s safe for children to return to in-person learning has been data showing a rise in infections.
“Being in the hospital is no picnic. And the folks in the hospital are overwhelmingly unvaccinated persons,” Dr. William Schaffner, a professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Tuesday.
“The vaccine and the boosters give you mild infections and keep you out of the hospital. And vaccines are actually working. It’s the unvaccinated folks that I am concerned about. Adults and children, together.”
CNN’s Ben Tinker, Naomi Thomas, Deidre McPhillips, Virginia Langmaid, Holly Yan, John Bonifield, Kaitlan Collins, Katherine Dillinger, Mike Callahan, Artemis Moshtaghian, Laura Studley and Albert Lutan contributed to this report.