CDC allowing for shorter quarantines for those who are exposed, but do not show COVID-19 symptoms


ATLANTA, GA (WBTW) – The CDC announced today people who show no Coronavirus symptoms after exposure do not have to quarantine for the full two weeks that is recommended.

Though it says the best way to slow the spread of Coronavirus is by quarantining for 14 days after potential exposure, it has released a seven day and ten day option.

“Quarantine can end after ten days without a COVID-19 test if the person has reported no symptoms, or after seven days with a negative test result if a person has no symptoms,” Doctor Henry Walke, incident manager for the CDC COVID-19 response said today.

This comes as the number of infections are rising across the country, pushing more people to quarantine, which CDC leaders say can impact the public health system.

“Cases are rising, and that means the close contacts are rising and the amount of people who require quarantine are rising,” Doctor John Brooks, Chief Medical Officer for the CDC COVID-19 response explained. “That’s a lot of burden not only on the people quarantined, but also on public health. Many times public health authorities are responsible for monitoring people during quarantine, they have to follow them until the end and we believe if we can reduce the burden a little bit, accepting that it may come at a small cost, we may get a better compliance overall.”

Doctor Brooks said CDC leaders are “hearing anecdotally from from [the CDC’s] partners in public health that many people are discontinuing quarantine ahead of time because there is pressure to go back to work to get people back to school and it imposes a mental and also possibly a physical burden on individuals.”

He and other CDC health experts expressed their hope that the shorter quarantines will result in more people taking part when they are exposed.

The CDC says for those who choose to leave quarantine after 10 days if they have not shown symptoms, there is a 1% to 12% risk they will spread the virus. This while the risk of spreading the virus is about 5% to 10% for those who discontinue quarantining after seven days with no symptoms and a negative COVID-19 test.

For those two do a seven-day quarantine, a PCR or Antigen test must be completed within 48 hours of the person’s desired quarantine exit time; if results are not in before the seven day mark, they must wait until the negative result is in.

The CDC does still recommend people who are exposed to Coronavirus monitor their symptoms for 14 days, even if they choose a shorter quarantine option. Also, the isolation rules for those who test positive remain unchanged.

For those who chose to travel for the holidays, the CDC recommends getting tested for Coronavirus one to three days before you leave and again five to seven days after you return.

If you travel and do not get tested, the CDC urges you to avoid non-essential activities for 10 days.

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