The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention originally set a 14-day quarantine period for COVID-19 based on estimates of the upper bounds of the virus’ incubation period.
Since that time, research indicates that more than 90-percent of exposed people who go on to develop COVID-19 illness develop symptoms within 10 days of exposure.
For that reason the CDC has revised its guidance to allow for a shorter quarantine period under the following conditions:
Quarantine can end after Day 10 of exposure without testing and if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring.
In some cases, quarantine can end after Day 7 of exposure, if a diagnostic specimen tests negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring, but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after Day 7.
In both cases, the quarantined subject must continue to:
• Monitor for signs and symptoms of illness
• Wear a mask when around others
• Observe social distancing through Day 14 of exposure
Those organizations and institutions that partner with the Health Department in workplace and school based contact tracing should incorporate this new guidance into their current policies. Healthcare providers who partner with the Health Department to place patients in quarantine should also adhere to these policies and incorporate them into patient education materials.
Quarantine is a public health strategy used to separate someone who may have been exposed to an illness and who is still in a period of time when they can develop illness.
Quarantine is used to prevent transmission in the event the exposed person develops the illness.
Quarantine is an important measure to control the spread of COVID-19 because it has been demonstrated that persons may spread the virus before they develop symptoms, and others may spread the virus without experiencing any symptoms.
n The City of Germantown released the following information this week:
We wanted to share some important reminders from the Shelby County Health Department. It is imperative that if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19 that you isolate at home until it is safe for you to be around others. Recent studies show, that individuals who are symptomatic are continuing to go about their daily activities which is contributing to the spread of the disease.
Here are some other steps to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community:
• Stay home except to get medical care
• Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care.
• Do not visit public areas.
• Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
• Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.