CDC Announces Shorter Quarantine Guidelines if Exposed to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to update guidelines in efforts to slow the spread of the virus. During a recent media briefing, the CDC announced updated quarantine guidelines, specifically for those who may have been exposed to an individual with COVID-19.

The guidance allows for the following quarantine periods for those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 but do not exhibit symptoms:

  • Ten-day quarantine period — An individual may end quarantine 10 days after exposure if the individual does not take a COVID-19 test.
  • Seven-day quarantine period — An individual may end quarantine 7 days after exposure if the individual tests negative for COVID-19.

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

Dr. John Brooks, COVID-19 Response Chief Medical Officer for the CDC

The updated guidelines come as a result of further agency studies of the COVID-19 incubation period. The CDC states that this shortened period will hopefully improve compliance among the public and lessen the negative economic impact of extended quarantine periods.

While the CDC may recommend the shorter quarantine guidelines, the agency still recommends a 14-day quarantine as the safest option.

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