CDC may shorten COVID-19 quarantine period guidelines

Modesto Morganelli
Novembre 25, 2020

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may soon shorten the length of self-quarantine period after potential exposure to the coronavirus, a top official said on Tuesday, as the White House coronavirus task force confirmed they too are re-evaluating the recommendations.

The exact language of the new guidelines and when they might be announced remains unclear, but according to a federal official who asked not to be named because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the issue, the recommended quarantine time is likely to be just seven to 10 days for people who then test negative for the virus.

"Let me confirm that we are constantly reviewing the evidence and we are starting to have evidence that a shorter quarantine complemented by tests might be able to shorten that quarantine period from 14 days to shorter days", a top USA health official said on a Tuesday press call.

"We do think that the work that we've done, and some of the studies we have and the modeling data that we have, shows that we can with testing shorten quarantines", Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC's incident manager for COVID-19 response, said to the WSJ.

Currently, the CDC recommends that those exposed to COVID-19 "stay home for 14 days after [their] last contact with a person who has COVID-19."
Nine percent, on the other hand, develop symptoms after 10 days, while only 2% show symptoms after 14 days.

Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health, said on Tuesday that there is starting to be a "preponderance of evidence" that a shorter quarantine, complemented by a test, may be enough to slow the spread of Covid-19, and that a 14-day quarantine may no longer be necessary.

He did not say specifically what shorter time period is being considered.

"Hopefully, people would be better able to adhere to quarantine if it was, for example, seven to 10 days".

However, a WHO spokesperson told the Journal that expert groups that advise the organization are now reviewing the data to determine whether it should alter its quarantine guidelines.

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