CDC currently recommends a quarantine period of fourteen days, however two new options to shorten quarantine are now acceptable alternatives. CDC made it official on December 2nd. Quarantines are determined to start after last exposure to a positive COVID case.
OPTION 1: Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing and if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring. Transmission risk with this option is estimated to be about 1-10%.
OPTION 2: Quarantine can end after Day 7 if a specimen tests negative and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring. The test cannot be performed before day 5. The person must remain in quarantine until they receive a negative test result. Remember this could take up to 5 days. Transmission risk with this option is 5-12%.
Persons can discontinue quarantine at these time points only if the following criteria are also met:
1. NO CLINCAL EVIDENCE OF COVID through daily symptom monitoring during the entire quarantine period.
2. DAILY symptom monitoring continues through day 14.
People may also use the 14-day quarantine period as this maximally reduces risk of post-quarantine transmission risk.
Quarantine is used to separate someone who might have been exposed to COVID and may develop illness away from other people and is intended to reduce the risk that infected persons might unknowingly transmit infection to others. It helps prevent the spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they have the virus. The recommendation for a 14-day quarantine was based on estimates of the upper bounds of the COVID incubation period. The importance of quarantine was evident when it was found that people could transmit the virus before symptoms developed and that 20-40% of infected people never develop symptoms but could transmit the virus.
In reducing the number of quarantine days, it is our hope that there will be more compliance and decrease some of the financial and social burden to the community. We ask that cases please be honest with the contact tracers regarding naming their close contacts. Those people have the right to know that they were exposed so they can take the appropriate actions to reduce the spread to their families, co-workers, and the community.
We ask that you review the full updated "OPTIONS TO REDUCE QUARNTINE FOR CONTACTS OF PERSONS WITH SARS-CoV-2INFECTION" on the CDC website. CDC.gov