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COVID-19: CDC Expected To Shorten Quarantine Period For Virus

The CDC is recommending that the quarantine period for those exposed to COVID-19 be shortened.
The CDC is recommending that the quarantine period for those exposed to COVID-19 be shortened. Photo Credit: Maryland GovPics - Timonium Testing Facility, CC BY 2.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=90539499

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be altering its guidance on how long someone exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine to avoid the spread of the virus.

Currently, federal health officials are recommending that anyone who comes into contact with someone infected with COVID-19 quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

However, despite a new spike in COVID-19 cases across the country, officials are in the process of reducing that period to between seven and 10 days, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

The logic behind the switch, according to the CDC, comes in an effort to ensure that Americans adhere to the recommended quarantine period rather than attempting to bypass it entirely.

"We do think that the work that we've done, and some of the studies we have and the modeling data that we have, shows that we can with testing shorten quarantines,” Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC's incident manager for COVID-19 response, said to the WSJ.

“If a test comes back negative," he added, “then their probability of going on and developing an infection after that is pretty low.”

According to officials, approximately 50 percent of people who contract COVID-19 develop symptoms within a week, while less than 10 percent develop symptoms between 10 and 14 days.

“If we could get people to quarantine—and really quarantine, like you can’t go to the grocery store when you quarantine—then I think there’s an argument for shorter times,” Justin Lessler, an epidemiologist at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health previously said.

With the holiday season nearly upon America, officials have cautioned that there is likely to be a new spike in COVID-19 cases as friends and families get lax in socially distancing and wearing face coverings.

According to the CDC, there were approximately 179,000 new COVID-19 cases reported nationwide on Monday, Nov. 24 as the virus continues to rapidly spread across the country.

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