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Capitol Correspondence - 12.08.20

CDC Reverses Prior Guidance on Length of Quarantine for Exposed Workers

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As reported by WPVI-TV:

“COVID-19 quarantine periods can be as short as seven to 10 days for some people, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday, but a 14-day quarantine after coronavirus exposure remains the safest option.

In new guidance, CDC says people could leave quarantine without taking a test if they do not develop any symptoms 10 days after being exposed to someone else with coronavirus, or after seven days with a negative test result and no symptoms.

The change comes as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise around the United States — and with that, more people facing quarantine.

The new quarantine guidance was based on ‘extensive’ modeling by CDC and other agencies that showed the risk is low, Dr. John Brooks, chief medical officer for CDC’s COVID-19 response, said during a telebriefing Wednesday. Many people end quarantine early because of pressure to return to work and school, CDC officials said, and some aren’t willing to share names of contacts they fear will then be required to quarantine.

But if the quarantine period is reduced from 14 days, more people may be willing to stay home after exposure, the CDC said — and that may result in fewer coronavirus infections. […]

There’s still some risk a person who left quarantine before 14 days could transmit the virus to others. […]

If a person quarantined for seven days and had no symptoms and a negative test, the risk of transmitting coronavirus is about 5%, with an upper limit of about 12%.

A PCR or antigen test should be collected within 48 hours before the end of quarantine, CDC says, but quarantine should not end before seven days, even if test results are returned earlier.”