CDC Suggests Shorter Quarantine Periods for People Exposed to COVID-19
On December 2, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a shorter time period for individuals to quarantine who have been exposed (generally speaking: 6 feet or less for 15 minutes or more) to an individual with COVID-19. The new time period for those without symptoms is:
Ten (10) days or
Seven (7) days with a negative test result.
For the seven (7) day period with a negative test result, it is recommended that the test be taken within 48 hours of the 7th day, and even if it is a rapid negative test result on day 5 or 6 that the individual still quarantine for the full 7 days.
Up until December 2, the recommended quarantine time period was 14 days. Even under the new guidance, people who are quarantined should continue to monitor for symptoms for the full 14 days. The CDC recommends that those following the new quarantine time periods check with their local health department to ensure that the local authorities have not issued different guidance.
The CDC has not rescinded the original 14-day timeframe, yet recognizes the important considerations regarding the new shorter periods. Click here to review this update on the CDC website.
These shorter quarantine periods should allow affected employees to return to work sooner, although employers are cautioned to follow the directives of employees’ healthcare providers as well as paid leave requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.