CDC Expected to Shorten COVID Quarantine Time

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering shortening it’s recommended two-week quarantine period for people who have come in contact with people who have it — a change welcomed by some medical experts who say the relaxed guidelines would be easier for people to follow, CNBC informed.

Current CDC guidelines recommend that anyone exposed to a person with the coronavirus to quarantine at home for 14 days, even if they test negative for the virus. Scientists say that helps prevent further spread of the disease before they start showing symptoms or from those who don’t develop any symptoms.

However, CDC Director Robert Redfield said in late October that those guidelines were made when diagnostic testing wasn’t as readily available as it is today. At the time, Redfield said the agency was trying to determine whether a quarantine period could be shortened to as little as seven days with a negative Covid-19 test.

“It’s data driven, it’s under evaluation, obviously we don’t want people to be quarantined for 14 days unnecessarily,” Redfield said during an Oct. 21 press briefing at the CDC’s headquarters in Atlanta.

Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s incident manager for Covid-19 response, said the agency is now finalizing those new guidelines to recommend a quarantine period for seven to 10 days with a negative Covid-19 test, according to the Wall Street Journal. Agency officials are still determining the exact length of the quarantine and what type of test would be needed to end it, the Journal reported on Tuesday.

“CDC is always reviewing its guidance and recommendations in the light of new understandings of the virus that causes COVID-19, and will announce such changes when appropriate,” CDC spokesperson Belsie González told CNBC on Wednesday.

Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of health who leads the federal government’s testing efforts as part of the White House coronavirus task force, said during a press call on Tuesday that there’s beginning to be “a preponderance of evidence that a shorter quarantine complemented by a test might be able to shorten that quarantine period from 14 days” to a shorter period.

“We are actively working on that type of guidance right now, reviewing the evidence, but we want to make absolutely sure,” Giroir told reporters. “These kind of recommendations aren’t willy nilly. They’re worked on with a variety of of of experts.”

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