CDC releases new, shortened quarantine options for certain COVID-19 exposure

CDC offers option to potentially shorten quarantine period for certain circumstances

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, speaks at a coronavirus news conference Dec. 1, 2020.
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, speaks at a coronavirus news conference Dec. 1, 2020. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the recommended quarantine length has been 14 days, but now, health experts have released a new, shortened quarantine option for certain instances.

This week, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention released new data based on analysis of hundreds of thousands of cases. Experts found 99% of COVID-19 cases will become infectious or develop symptoms within 10 days of exposure.

“Based on this new data, the CDC has offered an option for how to potentially shorten the quarantine period in certain circumstances,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Khaldun said a 14-day quarantine is still “the gold standard,” but health officials will also have the option to allow people who have not developed symptoms to be released from quarantine after 10 days.

“So if you’ve had no symptoms after exposure for 10 days, then you can be removed from quarantine,” Khaldun said. “Even if you do not have a test, and you still check yourself daily for symptoms for the entire 14-day, still gold-standard quarantine period.”

She said it’s important to note that a 14-day quarantine is still the safest way to know whether or not someone has been infected, but this new option is available.

“This is great news,” Khaldun said. “This means that while we all still have to remain careful, people can get back to their daily lives, work in school more quickly after being exposed.”

MDHHS is continuing to evaluate ways to potentially reduce the quarantine period in the safest possible ways, Khaldun said.

“The CDC has also offered an additional option for people in certain circumstances, to if they’ve not had symptoms for seven days after exposure, to be able to get a test within the last two days of that seven days to remove themselves from quarantine and still, of course, need to check for symptoms,” Khaldun said.


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