CDC Options for Shorter Quarantine

If you’ve been exposed or potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19, the CDC recommends you quarantine for 14 days.However, if a two week quarantine isn’t possible for you, the CDC offers some options to reduce quarantine.

Options for reduced quarantine

Option 1:  Quarantine for 10 days. No testing required. About 93 to 95% or people who are infected and eventually have symptoms of COVID will see those symptoms start by day 10. So a 10 day quarantine is pretty good at identifying symptomatic COVID cases. 

Option 2: Quarantine for 7 days and get a negative test result. The test must occur at least 5 days after you were exposed. The later you get the test, the better. About 75% of people who are infected and eventually have symptoms of COVID will see those symptoms start by day 7. And a PCR test will be positive a few days before symptoms start. So a 7 days quarantine + test will identify between 75-90% of people who COVID.

After your reduced quarantine

Since reduced quarantines are less effective than a full, 14 day quarantine - you should use additional precautions for the full 14 days. If you choose one of these shorter options, watch for symptoms, wear a mask, avoid gathering with people outside your household, maintain physical distancing when possible, and open a window when you’re indoors with people outside your household. 

 

Last update: December 22, 2020, 4:49 pm ET

Science review: GSN