Change in Quarantine Length – Per CDC

After months of speculation, the CDC finally announced a change in the length of quarantine periods following a possible exposure to COVID-19. Currently, the length of time recommended is 14 days. According to the CDC, this can place a burden on some individuals and increase the chances that someone doesn’t quarantine at all.

During a news brief on Wednesday, December 2nd, Dr. John Brooks, chief medical officer for CDC’s Covid-19 response outlined the new quarantine guideline and he indicated that it was based on “extensive” modeling by CDC and other agencies.

The New recommendation is 7-10 days for some people.

What does this mean?

1.) You can leave quarantine as early as 10 days without a test if you do not develop any symptoms

2.) You can leave quarantine as early as 7 days with a NEGATIVE test and no symptoms.

Is There a Risk from Changing from the 14 days?

Yes. There is still a risk of transmitting the virus from days 10-14 in some patients.

Dr. John Brooks said, “We can safely reduce the length of quarantine, but accepting there is a small residual risk that a person who is leaving quarantine early could transmit to someone else if they became infectious.”

According to the CDC’s Website.

1.)  If a person is quarantined for only 10 days and had no symptoms and no test, they believe the overall risk of transmitting coronavirus to someone else after quarantine is estimated to be between 1-1o%.

2.)  If a person is quarantined for only seven days and had no symptoms and a negative test, they believe the overall risk of transmitting coronavirus to someone else after quarantine is estimated to be between 5-12%.

The CDC also recommends that whether you ended your quarantine at 7 or 10 days – all individuals should watch for symptoms for a total of 14 days.

Travel Guidelines

The CDC also recommends that most individuals should postpone their travels and stay home. If you do choose to travel – you should limit your activities afterward.

They recommend that you should test for COVID 1-3 days before traveling and 3-5 days after you get back home.

Dr. Henry Walke, CDC’s Covid-19 incident manager, said, “Testing does not eliminate all risk, but when combined with reducing non-essential activities, symptom screening and continuing with precautions like wearing masks, social distancing and hand washing, it can make travel safer.”

Additional statements were made by Dr. Cindy Friedman, chief of the traveler’s health branch at CDC, when she said, “We know it’s a hard decision and that people need to have time to prepare and have discussions with family and friends and to make these decisions, and people travel for different reasons. But our recommendations are trying to help give them the tools they need to make these tough choices.”

CDC Article: Options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing

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