CDC Recommends Shortened Quarantine Period for People Exposed to Someone with COVID-19

December 9, 2020

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommends a 14-day quarantine as the best way to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, they have indicated that reducing the number of days quarantine can be applied in some cases. Click below for full details on the new guidelines.

The new guidelines recommend close contacts of those infected with the coronavirus should quarantine for 7 to 10 days after exposure. Asymptomatic individuals can end their quarantine after 7 days if they receive a negative test (with negative test collected no earlier than 5 days or within 48 hours of the end of the quarantine period). The quarantine can end after 10 days if the person has not developed any symptoms, with no test necessary.

In addition, the CDC updated its definition of “close contact” with a Covid-19 patient to mean someone exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes spent six feet or closer to the person during a 24 hour period – starting from 2 days before illness onset. Previously, the CDC defined a close contact as 15 minutes of continuous exposure to an infected individual.

The CDC still recommends, however, that regardless of the length of quarantine, people should continue to monitor their symptoms for a full 14 days after the exposure.

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