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Massachusetts Department of Public Health makes modifications to quarantining guidelines for return to work



The Massachusetts Department of Public Health revised their guidelines concerning COVID-19 quarantining when it pertains to returning to work.

According to MDPH, COVID-19 infection may occur after an incubation period for COVID-19 of up to 14 days after exposure, however, the majority of cases have incubation periods of fewer than 10 days. Based on data, and recent work conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is believed that shortening quarantine periods will result in increased compliance with contact tracing and adherence to quarantine recommendations. The small risk that someone may develop COVID-19 after a shortened strict quarantine period is outweighed by the expected benefit of reduced transmission from the increased cooperation by the public.

The quarantine period can be reduced to 8 days from the initial 14 if a test (either PCR or antigen) taken on Day 5 or later is negative and the individual has not experienced any symptoms up to that point and the individual conducts active monitoring through Day 14.

To have the quarantine period reduced to 11 days, the individual must have not experienced any symptoms up to that point and the individual must conduct active monitoring through Day 14. No test is necessary under this option.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control announced similar modifications to their quarantine guidelines last week.

Also released on Monday, certain sectors, such as healthcare workers, first responders, and critical infrastructure workers, may continue to work during their quarantine period to preserve critical societal functions due to the increase in COVID-19 patients that need treatment. This is only allowed if the worker remains asymptomatic. All workers should wear PPE appropriate to their duties and must at least wear a cloth face covering and self-monitor for symptoms.

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