Rochester businesses weigh new CDC isolation guidance


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — This week, the Center for Disease Control updated its isolation guidance for those with COVID-19. For those who don’t have symptoms, instead of ten days they have to isolate now for five days.

This comes as a surge in winter cases is causing hospitalization to go up, and many are worried about the impact on the economy and services.

In an effort to lower isolation days, the CDC says five days are now sufficient. After that, if you have no symptoms, you’re set, but you must mask up for at least five more days. Medical leaders feel the omicron variant is behind this rapid spread, the strain, while less severe, is highly transmissible.

Its ability to shut down business is very real. As News 8 has reported, places are struggling to fill shifts with workers calling out sick. 

Peter Gines of Jine’s Restaurant says holiday foot traffic has been great, but his feelings on the new CDC guidance are mixed. He feels more access to rapid testing is going to be the key going forward for places like his.

“It seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? Allow people to test, then you know if they’re positive, stay home… if it’s negative, you’re good to go,” Gines said. “If it’s five days and you test negative, you’re back at work. Perfect. But we are FAR from a perfect world right now.”

He says while we still have a way to go to get things right, he’ll take 2021 over 2020. “We’re better than where we were a year ago. If you asked me this question a year ago, we were closed and we didn’t have people inside the restaurant. We were take-out only a year ago. So yes, we are one step closer,” says Gines.

What this all boils down to he says — is safety. He wants to make sure his staff and customers are safe.

“First and foremost. The bottom line, no matter what we do, it’s safety. If it’s the safety of the food we serve, it’s the safety of the environment we have, if it’s safety for ourselves and the staff that we have, safety for our guests. That’s what people want. They want to feel comfortable coming in,” he says.

As a reminder, this is only guidance from the CDC. It’s up to federal, state, and local lawmakers on what to now do with it.

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