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CDC’s Update on Length of Quarantine

EverythingHR Staff | 12/04/2020 | Blog, Featured

On December 2nd, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued updated guidance addressing the recommended length of quarantine.  No doubt employers will be hearing more conflicting information as to what is required and what is recommended.  It is really hard to keep track!

The most important consideration is that it is local public health authorities that determine and establish the quarantine options for their jurisdictions. Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. The CDC points out that quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

According to the December 2nd CDC update…

Options to reduce quarantine

CDC and other scientists have explored changing the current recommendation to quarantine for 14 days after last exposure. Reducing the length of quarantine may make it easier for people to quarantine by reducing economic hardship if they cannot work during this time. In addition, a shorter quarantine period can lessen stress on the public health system, especially when new infections are rapidly rising.

Local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last in the communities they serve, based on local conditions and needs. Follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine.

CDC now recommends two additional options for how long quarantine should last. Based on local availability of viral testing, for people without symptoms quarantine can end:

  • On day 10 without testing
  • On day 7 after receiving a negative test result

After stopping quarantine, people should

  • Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.

For additional insights and guidance, please visit COVID-19: When to Quarantine | CDC.