CDC expected to announce decrease in coronavirus quarantine durations


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will shorten its recommended quarantine period for people exposed to the coronavirus to as little as seven days, CNN reported.

Under the new guidelines, quarantines can end after seven days for people who test negative and 10 days for those who do not get tests instead of the current 14-day period for both groups. 

CDC Director Robert Redfield announced the update Tuesday in a meeting of the White House coronavirus task force, according to CNN, which cited two senior administration officials. Vice President Pence, the head of the task force, has reportedly been pushing the CDC for a review of the recommendations for several months, and the topic has long been under discussion.

The CDC previously defined a close contact as involving continuous exposure to a person with the virus for 15 minutes. It currently defines it as 15 minutes in total within six feet of an infected person. In July, the agency altered its recommendations for how long a person should isolate after first experiencing symptoms, shortening the period from 14 days to 10, if the person is not symptomatic by the end of that period.

The agency has long thought the virus’s incubation period lasted as long as 14 days, but people typically develop symptoms and themselves become infectious between 5 days of their exposure, according to The Associated Press.

The change comes as the U.S. has surpassed 13.8 million cases of the virus. About 271,000 Americans have died.

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