NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday announced it was shortening the recommended quarantine period for people who have been exposed to coronavirus.
“Quarantine can end after 10 days without a COVID-19 test, if the person has reported no symptoms, or after 7 days with a negative test result if the person has reported no symptoms,” said Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager, in a conference call with reporters.
According to the CDC, the new guidance is based on new research on the virus. Though, Dr. Walke notes that a 14-day quarantine is still the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The shortened quarantine period, Walke said, “may make it easier for people to take this critical action, by reducing the economic hardship associated with a longer period.”
The doctor says people who are unable to work during a 14-day quarantine may not be able to fully commit to that time in isolation, which could lead to the virus spreading even more.
The CDC is hoping a 10-day quarantine will also lessen the stress on hospital networks across the country, especially as cases continue to climb rapidly.
According to health experts, those who have been exposed to the virus should still monitor for symptoms for a full 14-days after exposure. Studies have shown most people develop symptoms and become infectious between 4 and 5 days after exposure.
According to the government health agency, nearly 13.5 million people have tested positive for the virus, with over 1 million cases reported in just the last seven days.
The U.S. has also seen 267,302 deaths from the virus, as of Tuesday.