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CDC shortens quarantine guideline to 10 days; 7 days with negative test

The updated quarantine guideline after exposure to a COVID-19 patient is down from the 14-day period recommended since the onset of the pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shortened the recommended length of quarantine after exposure to someone who is positive for COVID-19, as the virus rages across the nation. As the Washington Post notes, though, the 14-day quarantine recommendation is still in effect in areas where adequate testing resources are not available. 

According to a senior administration official, the new guidelines, which were released this week, will allow people who have come in contact with someone infected with the virus to resume normal activity after 10 days, or 7 days if they receive a negative test result. That’s down from the 14-day period recommended since the onset of the pandemic.

Officials have said the policy change has been discussed for some time, as scientists have studied the incubation period for the virus. It was discussed Tuesday at a White House coronavirus task force meeting.

Representatives from the CDC spoke to reporters Wednesday and urged the public to continue to be vigilant with practices to lessen the spread of the coronavirus. Those include continuing to wear a mask according to CDC guidelines, practice social distancing, avoid large gatherings and wash hands frequently. According to the agency, the best way to prevent a strain on hospitals is to keep these best practices in mind. 

The CDC also recommends that the best way to protect yourself and others, especially during the holiday season, is to postpone travel and stay home. 

If you do decide to travel the agency recommends that travelers consider getting tested one to three days before travel. And then again, three to five days after travel. This should also be combined with reducing non-essential activities outside of the home for a full seven days after travel based off of updated quarantine guidance.  

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