CDC considering shortening quarantine time after COVID-19 exposure

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is considering a change to quarantine times after COVID-19 exposure. 

Currently, the recommendation is 14 days. But it could drop to seven to ten days.

Federal officials have long suspected people do not really adhere to a two-week quarantine, so bringing it down to seven to ten days would increase compliance.

"For the last seven months, the CDC guidance has been if you've been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, go into quarantine for 14 days after your last contact with that person and get a test. But now, there's a discussion about shortening that period. And many doctors say they think it's a good idea because it is less disruptive to people's lives, therefore more likely to be practice," Dr. Craig Deligdish explained. 

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He added that "the fact is: This virus has an incubation period. The reason for the 14-day quarantine or the ten or seven-day quarantine is because it takes time for that virus to incubate and propagate and the tests that we have, have varying degrees of sensitivity."

Dr. Deligdish runs a COVID-19 testing site at Omni Healthcare in Melbourne. He said that if the CDC does, in fact, shorten quarantine times, that should come with new guidance about what kind of test to get. He believes the gold standard is the nasal RGPCR test.

He also believes that the CDC should have changed the quarantine time protocol months ago because to change it now -- and this close to a vaccine -- might cause confusion. 

"I think there's been a tremendous lack of consistency in how we as a country from an epidemiological standpoint have approached the coronavirus," Dr. Deligdish said.

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The head of the CDC said that when the quarantine time was initially released, it was based on the testing available. The CDC said that any changes now will be data-driven.

Please keep in mind that this change is being considered but is not absolute yet. The CDC said that an announcement about quarantine will only be made when it is appropriate. 


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