New guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control on Wednesday says quarantine periods can be shorter than 14 days for some people exposed to Covid-19.
The CDC continues to recommend quarantining for 14 days as the best way to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19, Dr. Henry Walke, who serves as the agency's Covid-19 incident manager, said during a telebriefing.
But Walke said there are “two acceptable alternative” quarantine periods: Quarantine can end after 10 days without a Covid-19 test if the person reported no symptoms, or after seven days with a negative test result if the person has reported no symptoms.
People who have been exposed should still watch for symptoms for 14 days, especially if they end quarantine earlier, Walke said.
“I want to stress that we are sharing these options with public health agencies across the country, so that they can determine how long quarantine period should last in their jurisdictions based on local conditions and needs,” Walke said. “Everyone should follow this specific guidance from their local public health authorities about how long they should quarantine.”
Reducing the length may make it easier for people to quarantine, Walke said, and lessen stress on the public health system as new infections are rising quickly.