The U.S. Center for Disease Prevention and Control is considering shortening the recommended two-week quarantine period for those who have been in contact with people with such a disease – a change welcomed by some medical experts who say calm guidelines are easier for people to follow. .
Current CDC guidelines recommend that anyone who is exposed to coronavirus at home for 14 days, even if they have a negative test for the virus. Scientists say this will help prevent the disease from spreading further before symptoms appear or from those who do not have any symptoms.
However, Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said in late October that these guidelines were drawn up when diagnostic tests were not as readily available as they are today. At the time, Redfield said the agency was using a negative Covid-19 test to determine if the quarantine period could be shortened to up to seven days.
“Data-driven, under evaluation, we obviously don’t want people to be quarantined unnecessarily for 14 days,” Redfield said at a Oct. 21 press conference at the CDC’s Atlanta headquarters.
Dr. Henry Walke, incident manager for CDC’s Covid-19 response, said the agency is now finalizing these new guidelines to recommend a seven- to ten-day quarantine period with a negative Covid-19 test, writes The Wall Street Journal. Agency officials will continue to determine the exact length of the quarantine and what types of investigations would be needed to complete it, the Journal reported Tuesday.
“The CDC is always reviewing its guidelines and recommendations in light of a new understanding of the virus that causes COVID-19 and will announce such changes as appropriate,” Belsie Gonzalez, a CDC spokesman, told CNBC on Wednesday.
Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary of State for Health, who is leading the federal government’s testing efforts as part of the White House’s coronavirus task force, said in a press call on Tuesday that “there is overwhelming evidence that a shorter quarantine supplement is a test capable of shortening this quarantine period. from day to “shorter period”.
“We are currently actively working on this type of guidance, reviewing the evidence, but we want to be absolutely sure,” Giroir told reporters. “These kinds of recommendations were unwilling, but they worked with a variety of experts.”
“This should have been done sooner”
Shorter quarantine times could make it easier for people to follow the CDC’s recommendations, as most are likely to shorten the two-week period on their own, Food and Drug Commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb said on Wednesday.
According to Gottlieb, people who have Covid-19 but are asymptomatic, meaning they never develop symptoms, are unlikely to become very contagious after seven or 10 days. The number of people who become infected two weeks after exposure is also “very small,” he said.
“I mean, frankly, we probably should have done this sooner,” Gottlieb told CNBC’s “Squawk Box”. “Asking people to be quarantined for a full two weeks, to isolate themselves for a full two weeks because of an exposure, just makes people not follow the rules. We’re better off doing something practical.”
Former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden, who served under President Barack Obama, told NBC News that the U.S. must “optimize quarantine,” and that the biggest risk spreads for four to seven days and then falls.
Dr. Carlos del Rio, a professor of medicine at Emory University, told CNBC that the move “makes sense” and suggested that people examine it immediately after being exposed to Covid-19 for at least seven days. they are quarantined and then tested again. are negative.
“We talked to the CDC and others about how to incorporate testing into quarantine exit,” CNBC told Meg Tirrell.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a White House coronavirus adviser, told ABC News on Wednesday’s “Good Morning America” that because of the two-week quarantine, people are reluctant to examine Covid-19 because a positive result could displace it. them from work.
“They don’t want to say, ‘Well, they’ve been tested, and now I have to be away from work, I might lose money, I can’t get support, and I might even lose my job,” Fauci said. the better part – encourages people to test themselves better so they don’t miss out on anything they need, about their job, their employment, their source of income. That’s the real reason for that. “
– CNBCs Kevin Stankiewicz contributed to this report.