The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reportedly going to be changing the guidelines again regarding COVID-19. This is far from the first time the CDC has updated the guidelines since the pandemic started. They have quietly added new symptoms and made changes to precautions. They have also more recently changed the definition of a “close contact.” 

This upcoming update to the CDC guidelines will change the recommended number of a days that a person who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 will need to self-quarantine. Currently, the recommendation is 14 days. 

According to CNN, Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, told Vice President Mike Pence that the quarantine recommendation would be reduced from 14 days to 7-10 days. It would be 7 days in the individual gets a COVID-19 test that comes back negative. It would be 10 days if the person does not get tested for COVID-19. 

Pence has been encouraging the CDC to review the quarantine recommendation for months now, and the CDC has been reviewing it for weeks. They have been looking at the data and decided that the change is a good idea. For more about this upcoming change, watch the video below.

 

This change will mean that if someone has close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, they will not need to quarantine for a full 2 weeks, but it is important to understand what the CDC means when they say “close contact.”

Previously, the definition of “close contact” was coming into contact with a person who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes and less than 6 feet away. Like we mentioned earlier, that definition has changed. Now, “close contact” means being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for smaller amounts of time that total 15 minutes or more. It could be just a minute or two at a time throughout the day.

This upcoming change does not change the recommendations about how to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19. As always, wear a mask, stay 6 feet away from people who are not part of your household, wash your hands, and avoid crowds.

Do you think reducing the quarantine period is a good idea? Does it surprise you that the CDC would make this change?