The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are offering two alternatives to shorten the recommended quarantine period from 14 days after a person has been exposed to the coronavirus, the agency said on Wednesday.
The first alternative is to end the quarantine after 10 days if no symptoms are reported, said Dr. Henry Walke, CDC Covid-19 Incident Manager, in a call to reporters. The second option is to end the quarantine after seven days if a person shows a negative result and also does not report symptoms.
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The decision is based on new research and modeling data, Walke said.
Nevertheless, Walke noted that 14-day quarantine remains the best way to reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading.
The 14-day quarantine is based on the incubation period of the coronavirus – the period during which a person can become infected after exposure to the virus.
In fact, despite the shortened quarantine periods, Walke said people should watch for symptoms for 14 days after exposure.
The CDC has also issued guidance on upcoming holiday trips, ultimately encouraging people to avoid the trip where possible. However, those who choose to travel should receive a coronavirus test one to three days before the trip and then three to five days after the trip. The post-trip test is combined with a seven-day quarantine.
Reducing the duration of quarantine “can make it easier for people to take this critical action, reducing the economic hardship associated with a longer period of time, especially if they can’t work during that time,” Walke said. “In addition, shorter quarantine times can reduce stress on the public health system and communities, especially when new infections are growing rapidly.”
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