New Guidance on COVID-19 Quarantine Duration

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December 7, 2020

On December 2, the CDC updated its guidance for quarantining after exposure to COVID-19. The CDC still recommends a 14-day quarantine as the safest option, however, it has provided two acceptable alternatives to shorten the quarantine period depending on local circumstances and resources.

    1. Quarantine can end after 10 days without testing if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring.
    2. Quarantine can end after seven days if the individual obtains a negative diagnostic COVID-19 test result within 48 hours of day seven, and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring.

Under both alternatives a person can discontinue quarantine only if the following criteria are also met:

    • The individual has not exhibited COVID-19 symptoms during the entirety of the quarantine up to the time at which quarantine is discontinued; and,
    • Daily symptom monitoring continues through quarantine day 14; and,
    • The individual strictly adheres to mitigation strategies after exiting self-quarantining (i.e. mask use, social distancing, avoiding crowds, etc.). They should be advised that if any symptoms develop, they should immediately self-isolate and contact the local public health authority or their healthcare provider to report this change in clinical status.

Testing for the purposes of earlier discontinuation of quarantine should be considered only if it will have no impact on community diagnostic testing. Testing of persons seeking evaluation for infection must be prioritized. Click here to see the CDC’s updated guidance.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has adopted the CDC’s new guidance for quarantine duration and its updated guidance will go into effect on Monday, December 7, 2020 for Wisconsinites. Click here to see the WI DHS announcement.

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