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CDC considering reducing coronavirus quarantine time

CDC considering reducing coronavirus quarantine time
Posted at 9:07 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 21:07:10-05

The CDC is considering changing its quarantine guidelines for those who have been in close contact with someone who is infected with the coronavirus.

Currently, those who have been in close contact with someone infected with the virus would be advised to quarantine for 14 days. Possible new guidance would shorten the quarantine period to 10 days. At the end of the 10-day period, a test would be need to end quarantine.

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health at Health and Human Services, explains why a 10-day quarantine might be more effective at getting more compliance with the guidance.

"People are much more likely to listen to a 10-day quarantine than they are a 14-day quarantine,” Giroir said. “If we can shorten it safely with most risk because we have a quarantine plus a test, we have a lot of tests available now, that might improve our public health responses.”

Giroir stressed that final guidelines have not been approved, and the current guidance still calls for a 14-day quarantine.

“It's not an announcement that is happening but we are reviewing it and the CDC team is modeling it and looking at data every day,” Giroir said.“And it may change or it may not. Just depends on where the data and the evidence wind up."

According to the CDC, a person can become infected with the virus up to 14 days following exposure. But researchers say most illnesses begin five to seven days after COVID-19 exposure.

A close contact is considered someone who is within 6 feet of someone with the virus for a period of 15 minutes or more over the course of a day.