The CDC announced new quarantine guidelines for people who were exposed to coronavirus, reducing the length of time from 14 days to 10 days without symptoms or seven days with no symptoms and a negative test. Officials said the shorter time period is intended to encourage more people to quarantine.
CDC’s COVID-19 Incident Manager, Dr. Henry Walke, told reporters on a call Wednesday that “Reducing the length of quarantine may encourage more people to do so, especially when they may not be able to work during quarantine time.” He said the agency still recommends 14 days, but is now offering two “acceptable alternative quarantine periods.” According to Dr. John Brooks, chief medical officer for the CDC, when quarantine is reduced to 10 days, the “residual risk” of someone exposing someone else after leaving quarantine is only about 1%.
The CDC still advises against unnecessary travel, especially during the winter holiday season when people are together inside more often and virus transmission increases. “The CDC recommends staying home and not travel,” Walke said. “If you do travel, get tested 1-3 days before travel and 3-5 after, and minimize any movement between times.”