Updated CDC Guidance on Options to Reduce Quarantine for COVID-19

December 3, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidance for jurisdictions on options to shorten the time for quarantining an individual who might have been exposed to COVID-19 and may develop illness away from other people.

GNYHA has asked the New York State Department of Health to swiftly adopt the below CDC changes for New York State.

The current CDC guidance recommends a quarantine period of 14 days for exposed individuals. The new guidance suggests shorter, acceptable alternatives, based on local circumstances, as follows:

  • Quarantine can end after 10 days without testing and if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring. CDC states that, with this approach, the residual post-quarantine transmission risk is estimated to be about 1%, with an upper limit of about 10%.
  • Quarantine can end after seven days if the individual tests negative and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring, provided that diagnostic testing resources are sufficient and available. In this instance, the specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation in anticipation of testing delays, but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after Day 7. CDC state that the residual post-quarantine transmission risk is estimated to be about 5%, with an upper limit of about 12% with this strategy.

In both cases, individuals must also show no clinical evidence of COVID-19 during daily symptom monitoring for the entirety of quarantine up to the time at which quarantine is discontinued. Individuals must also continue daily symptom monitoring for 14 days. In addition, individuals should be counseled to adhere to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including correct and consistent mask use, social distancing, hand and cough hygiene, environmental cleaning and disinfection, avoiding crowds, ensuring adequate indoor ventilation, and self-monitoring for symptoms.