Local restaurants and hospitals adjust to changes in CDC quarantine guidelines


DES MOINES, IOWA – Different types of businesses are figuring out how they will implement new guidance from the Center for Disease Control, shrinking the numbers of quarantine days from ten to five for asymptomatic people.

The Iowa Restaurant Association said that most businesses in the association should benefit from the change, especially with what they say are lingering pandemic-related staffing shortages.

“That is how we are looking at it right now,” said Iowa Restaurant Association CEO Jessica Dunker. “If someone is asymptomatic, has been exposed, has waited the 5 days and has tested negative, that seems like a reasonable timeframe to allow people to come back to work.”

Exile Brewing owner R.J. Tursi believes the new guidance will help his brewery for those reasons. He said the brewery has been short-staffed for the past nine months now, and this adjustment will lighten the load for his employees.

“We definitely have situations where someone has COVID occasionally, and we had to figure out how to schedule with that person out for ten days,” said Exile Brewing owner R.J. Tursi. “With the new guidelines, it is now only half of the challenge.”

Hospital systems in the Des Moines metro are still waiting deciding if they will use the new CDC guidance. UnityPoint Health tells WHO 13 that they are working on the matter internally and waiting to make a decision if they will apply this change.

In a statement, MercyOne said:

“MercyOne will implement the updated interim guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for Managing Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection or Exposure to SARS-CoV-2, which has also been endorsed by the Infectious Diseases Society America and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. These approaches are important to ensure we have the necessary health care workforce to respond to the growing Omicron surge.”

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