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CDC offers options for shortened quarantine time for COVID-19 in certain instances



Photo courtesy of CDC

Guidelines concerning quarantining for COVID-19 were updated today.

The CDC currently recommends a quarantine period of 14 days. However, based on local circumstances and resources, it has been announced that other options to shorten quarantine are acceptable alternatives.

According to new guidance by the CDC, quarantine can end after day 10 without testing and if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring.

“With this strategy, residual post-quarantine transmission risk is estimated to be about 1% with an upper limit of about 10%.”

In certain circumstances, quarantine can be as little as 7 days.

“When diagnostic testing resources are sufficient and available, then quarantine can end after day 7 if a diagnostic specimen tests negative and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring. The specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation (e.g., in anticipation of testing delays), but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after Day 7.”

“With this strategy, the residual post-quarantine transmission risk is estimated to be about 5% with an upper limit of about 12%.
In both cases, additional criteria (e.g., continued symptom monitoring and masking through day 14) must be met.”

As it has been taking place for several months, quarantine is used to separate someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 and may develop illness away from other people to help prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they have the virus.

“CDC recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of increasing the spread of the virus.”

Quarantine is still considered a critical measure to control transmission of COVID-19, but with the updated recommendations, the CDC hopes that more people will abide by them.

This new announcement by the CDC has yet to change any local orders or guidance.

For the Christmas holiday, the CDC is recommending people stay home as they did for Thanksgiving.

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