There have been a lot of media reports related to the CDC making changes to its quarantine guidance recently, but we wanted make sure everyone was aware of what actually changed here. The #1 thing to take away is the CDC still recommends a 14 day quarantine for anyone that has been in close contact with someone that tests positive for COVID-19 as the best course of action. However, the 14 days can be shortened in certain instances. Local health agencies have the option to shorten the quarantine as follows:
- Quarantine may end after Day 10 without testing and no reported symptoms during daily monitoring.
- When diagnostic testing resources are sufficient and available, quarantine may end after Day 7 with a negative test and no reported symptoms during daily monitoring.
- Persons can discontinue quarantine at these times ONLY IF: (a) there is no clinical evidence of COVID-19 detected during daily symptom monitoring during the entirety of quarantine up to the time at which it is discontinued; (b) daily symptom monitoring continues through Day 14; (c) persons strictly adhere to all recommended mitigation measures (masking, physical distancing, etc.) through Day 14; and (d) if symptoms develop the person should immediately self-isolate and contact their healthcare provider.
The CDC cited scientific evidence that the chance of spreading the virus diminishes past day 7 with testing and day 10 without testing and also noted that a 14 day quarantine can be burdensome. But at the end of the day, the 14 day quarantine is still the safest route.