INDIANAPOLIS — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its quarantine guidance for people exposed to COVID-19, providing two options for shortening the standard 14-day quarantine period.
A person who has been exposed to and is identified as a close contact of an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to quarantine, which involves staying home and away from other people, for a designated period in order to prevent further spread of disease. The CDC guidance retains the option of a 14-day quarantine but allows people who do not have symptoms to reduce their quarantine to seven or 10 days, depending on whether they get tested.
Under the revised guidance, the quarantine can end after 10 days if the person has not developed any symptoms. A test is not required. The quarantine can end after seven days if the person tests negative for COVID-19 on day five, six, or seven of the quarantine and has not developed any symptoms.
Both alternatives require that the person adheres to strict practices of masking, social distancing, handwashing, and watching for any symptoms through day 14. They also require daily monitoring for symptoms.
State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG, said the shorter quarantine periods will lessen the disruptions on schools and workplaces by allowing students, teachers, and other key workers to return sooner. However, she urged Hoosiers to complete the 10-day quarantine to avoid further increasing demand for testing.
Box noted that while the risk of transmitting COVID-19 at day seven or 10 is low, it is not zero, and the 14-day quarantine may still be the best option for some Hoosiers.
For more information about COVID-19, visit www.coronavirus.in.gov.
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