Understanding new CDC quarantine guidance

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is changing its quarantine guidelines ahead of holiday travel.

The new recommendation from the CDC is a 10-day quarantine without symptoms, or a with negative result. This applies for those who have had close contact with an infected person.

A 14-day quarantine is still recommended if you test positive.

Slide from Gov. Holcomb’s weekly COVID-19 briefing explaining the guidelines.

“A lot of this is due to the evidence of really seeing that most of the transmissions or most of these patients are going to come up positive within five to ten days of being exposed,” said IU Health Director of Infection Prevention Kristen Kelley.

Kelley said as the days go on you continue to learn more about the virus. Researchers have found that most who are infected don’t show symptoms until 5 to 6 days following exposure, prompting the CDC to make adjustments.

“The guidance was if you were exposed to someone, let’s say on December 1st that you should stay quarantined which means isolated or removed from others for 14 days. This guidance is going to be shortened to 10-days if you’ve been exposed, so it has shortened,” said Kelley.

The CDC says you can end your quarantine after seven days if you get a negative result, as long as you have no symptoms.

“Knowing that the amount of time recommended is shorter is going to make us more successful in adhering to this. But it’s hard to understand how this works because this virus doesn’t always show symptoms. A good number of people may not show symptoms at all, but they will be very infectious,” said Kelley.

Again, if you test positive you still have to quarantine for two weeks. Local experts and CDC officials still recommends that you continue to monitor your health and stay in close contact with your physician up to 14 days after exposure. 

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