CDC Cuts COVID Exposure Quarantine Time to 10 Days Without Symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new quarantine guidelines for people exposed to the coronavirus, reducing the duration from 14 days to 10 days without symptoms or seven days without symptoms and with a negative test. Officials said the shorter period is intended to encourage more people to quarantine.

“Reducing the length of the quarantine may encourage more people to do this, especially when they cannot work during the quarantine period,” Dr Henry Walke, CDC COVID-19 incident manager, told reporters on Wednesday. journalists during a call. He said the agency still recommends 14 days, but now offers two “acceptable alternative quarantine periods”.

“As we learn more about the virus, we continue to refine our advice,” Walke said, stressing that everyone should self-quarantine if they are exposed – or if they are. is concerned about exposure – to coronavirus. He added that people should continue to monitor themselves symptoms for 14 days after exposure – even if they end the quarantine earlier.

According to CDC Chief Medical Officer Dr John Brooks, when the quarantine is reduced to 10 days, the ‘residual risk’ of someone exposing someone else after leaving quarantine is only about 1 %.

“The recommendation made today is the result of extensive modeling not only by the CDC but by other scientific institutes,” Brooks said. “All of these points to the same thing: a person leaving early 40s could expose someone else. When reduced to 10 days, the residual risk is 1%, the upper limit of this risk is 12%. Seven days is 5%, and the upper limit is 10%. “

Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb told CBS News’ “Face the nation“that a shortened recommended quarantine period is expected to capture the” vast majority “of coronavirus infections.

“What you want are careful, practical recommendations that people are going to follow,” Gottlieb said on Sunday. “And when you have a 14-day quarantine period, it’s such a long period that a lot of people aren’t going to follow it anyway, and it’s hard to stick to the recommendations. So setting up a 10- day quarantine period, even a seven day quarantine period, you will capture the vast majority of infections in that time frame. “

Several hours after Wednesday’s announcement, the CDC had yet to update the official quarantine guidelines posted on its website.

Officials stressed during the call that the agency always advises against unnecessary travel, especially during the winter holiday season when people are together indoors more often and transmission of the virus increases.

“The CDC recommends staying at home and not traveling,” Walke said. “If you are traveling, get tested 1-3 days before travel and 3-5 days after, and minimize any movement between schedules.”

According to the COVID Tracking Project, COVID-19 hospitalizations reached a record high of more than 90,000 people on Thanksgiving Day. As the holidays approach, public health experts have urged Americans to forgo large family celebrations.

However, over a million Americans embarked on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the most for a single day since mid-March, according to figures from the Transportation Security Administration. The three-day Friday-Sunday period was the busiest travel weekend since the weekend of March 14-16.

Dr Celine Gounder, a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory committee, told CBSN they expected the move to lead to a increase in cases, and possibly deaths, in the coming weeks. Dr Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, warned that those traveling for the holidays and attending large gatherings should guess they were infected.

“Sadly,” said Gounder, “this means that many people who celebrated with family, with friends on Thanksgiving will end up in the hospital, in intensive care units over Christmas and New Years. “

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