The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shortened its recommended COVID-19 quarantine time from 14 days to 7 or 10 days. The new guidelines were announced on Wednesday.
The guidelines say individuals who have close contact with an infected person can quarantine for only 7 days if they receive a negative test, or 10 days without a test.
The CDC defines close contact as coming within 6 feet with an infected person for a total of 15 minutes.
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Dr. Henry Walke, incident manager for the CDC’s coronavirus response, said during a media briefing that the CDC based its decision on study data and modeling done by the agency and other institutions.
He said 14 days of quarantine remains the optional period of time, but 7 to 10 days is a good alternative.
“Reducing the length of quarantine may make it easier to take this critical public health action by reducing the economic hardship associated with a longer period, especially if they cannot work during that time,” Walke said, adding that people should monitor for symptoms 14 days after exposure.
“In addition, a shorter quarantine period can lessen stress on the public health system and community, especially when new infections are rapidly rising,” he added.