CDC says 14-day Covid-19 quarantine can be shortened to 7 to 10 days

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-d...

Posted: Dec 2, 2020 4:03 PM

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.

"We believe that if we can reduce the burden a little bit, accepting that it comes at a small cost, we may get a greater compliance overall with people completing a full quarantine," Brooks said. "If we get more people on board to complete that overall, that will result in fewer infections."

Risk of transmission after ending quarantine early

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

"We can safely reduce the length of quarantine, but accepting there is a small residual risk that a person who is leaving quarantine early could transmit to someone else if they became infectious," Brooks said.

If a person quarantined for 10 days and had no symptoms and no test, the residual risk of transmitting coronavirus to someone else after quarantine is estimated to be about 1%, with an upper limit of about 10%, the CDC said on its website.

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 rest results are returned earlier.

People who have been exposed should still watch for symptoms for 14 days, especially if they end quarantine early, Dr. Henry Walke, CDC's Covid-19 incident manager, said Wednesday.

And if a person goes on to develop symptoms, they should contact their local health authorities and health care provider, seek out testing and isolate.

Local public health agencies' recommendations may differ from CDC's, too.

"Everyone should follow this specific guidance from their local public health authorities about how long they should quarantine," Walke said.

Recommended limits on travel

CDC officials also said Wednesday that people who choose to travel should limit their activities afterward -- and the safest choice over the upcoming winter holidays is to stay home.

"CDC recommends that the best way to protect yourself and others is to postpone travel and stay home," Walke said.

If people do decide to travel, "CDC recommends that travelers consider getting tested one to three days before travel," Walke said. "And then again three to five days after travel."

Testing should be combined with reducing non-essential activities for a full seven days after traveling, he said. For those who don't get tested after traveling, CDC recommends non-essential activities be reduced for 10 days.

"Testing does not eliminate all risk, but when combined with reducing non-essential activities, symptom screening and continuing with precautions like wearing masks, social distancing and hand washing, it can make travel safer," Walke said.

Before Thanksgiving, CDC made a similar recommendation, urging people to stay home and celebrate only with those in their household.

"We know it's a hard decision and that people need to have time to prepare and have discussions with family and friends and to make these decisions, and people travel for different reasons," Dr. Cindy Friedman, chief of the traveler's health branch at CDC, told the briefing. "But our recommendations are trying to help give them the tools they need to make these tough choices."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 245847

Reported Deaths: 5356
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16717168
Hinds15748310
Harrison12806188
Rankin10334204
Jackson9996172
Lee8666135
Madison7994158
Jones6112108
Forrest5826117
Lauderdale5672174
Lowndes5186106
Lafayette482792
Lamar471162
Washington4700122
Bolivar3915105
Oktibbeha384279
Panola357274
Pontotoc356552
Monroe3463101
Union334755
Warren334692
Marshall333264
Neshoba3310149
Pearl River313891
Leflore2969104
Lincoln290185
Sunflower275868
Tate264759
Alcorn257850
Itawamba257058
Pike254876
Hancock246957
Prentiss240047
Scott238743
Copiah235649
Yazoo235054
Tippah233845
Simpson230166
Leake226764
Coahoma219054
Grenada213970
Covington207171
Marion203371
Adams200065
Winston196260
George195937
Wayne193029
Attala190958
Newton185142
Chickasaw179943
Tishomingo179059
Holmes167467
Jasper163533
Clay155632
Stone138818
Tallahatchie137033
Clarke135160
Calhoun132021
Smith117322
Yalobusha112534
Walthall110536
Noxubee108922
Greene108229
Montgomery107134
Carroll102320
Lawrence99817
Perry98631
Amite95725
Webster90024
Claiborne84125
Tunica84021
Jefferson Davis82925
Humphreys80324
Benton79722
Kemper75620
Quitman6678
Franklin64613
Choctaw59412
Wilkinson57424
Jefferson52019
Sharkey42317
Issaquena1576
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 414583

Reported Deaths: 5945
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson60842887
Mobile29590538
Madison26466183
Tuscaloosa20537267
Montgomery18562304
Shelby18181112
Baldwin15841177
Lee1212097
Morgan12002112
Etowah11488142
Calhoun10863197
Marshall10048106
Houston8405123
Cullman792294
Limestone785073
Elmore7670101
DeKalb757282
St. Clair7417120
Lauderdale740282
Talladega6036108
Walker5834176
Jackson571937
Colbert522270
Blount521980
Autauga507555
Coffee431456
Dale388278
Franklin362145
Chilton332965
Covington325567
Russell318910
Escambia309842
Dallas297988
Chambers275769
Clarke272933
Tallapoosa2591107
Pike245829
Lawrence239345
Marion238649
Winston222535
Bibb211347
Geneva196331
Marengo196329
Pickens195331
Hale172542
Barbour169636
Butler166958
Fayette164026
Cherokee158330
Henry149219
Monroe143617
Randolph137635
Washington135426
Clay124446
Crenshaw117444
Lamar116819
Cleburne115123
Macon111935
Lowndes107935
Wilcox99921
Bullock97128
Perry95019
Conecuh92820
Sumter89126
Greene75123
Coosa59814
Choctaw50824
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