CDC to shorten COVID-19 quarantine to 10 days, 7 with test

CDC to shorten COVID-19 quarantine to 10 days, 7 with test
Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, leaves the White House Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to shorten the recommended length of quarantine after exposure to someone who is positive for COVID-19, as the virus rages across the nation.

According to a senior administration official, the , which are set to be released as soon as Tuesday evening, will allow people who have come in contact to someone infected with the 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.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preview the announcement, said the has been discussed for some time, as scientists have studied the incubation period for the virus. The policy would hasten the return to normal activities by those deemed to be "close contacts" of those infected with the virus, which has infected more than 13.5 million Americans and killed at least 270,000.

While the CDC had said the for the virus was thought to extend to 14 days, most individuals became infectious and developed symptoms between 4 and 5 days after exposure.

It's not the first time that the CDC has adjusted its guidance for the novel coronavirus as it adjusted to new research. In July the agency shortened, from 14 days to 10, its advice on how long a person should stay in isolation after they first experience COVID symptoms—provided they're no longer sick.

The new guidance was presented Tuesday at a White House coronavirus task force meeting for final approval.

CDC to shorten COVID-19 quarantine to 10 days, 7 with test
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar leaves the White House Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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