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CDC Announces Shorter Quarantine Guidelines After a COVID-19 Exposure

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CDC Announces Shorter Quarantine Guidelines After a COVID-19 Exposure
CDC Announces Shorter Quarantine Guidelines After a COVID-19 Exposure

Save as PDF Edit 12/4/20: Please note that the CDC update indicates that local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last in the communities they serve, based on local conditions and needs. The CDC recommends that you follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine.


During a recent media briefing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced an update to quarantine guidelines, offering options for shorter quarantine periods.

The CDC’s updated guidance allows for the following quarantine periods for those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 but are without symptoms:

  • Ten-day quarantine period—An individual may end quarantine 10 days after exposure if the individual does not take a COVID-19 test.
  • Seven-day quarantine period—An individual may end quarantine seven days after exposure if the individual tests negative for COVID-19.

While offering these shorter alternatives, the CDC still recommends a 14-day quarantine as the safest option.  

Updated Quarantine Guidelines

These updated quarantine guidelines come after the CDC studied the incubation period for COVID-19. The agency hopes that this shortened time period will improve compliance among the general public and lessen the negative economic impact of extended quarantine periods.

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the CDC continues to update guidance for preventing the spread of COVID-19. For more information on the coronavirus pandemic, contact Scott Benefit Services today.

  • “We can safely reduce the length of quarantine, accepting that there is a small residual risk that a person who is leaving quarantine early could transmit to someone else if they became infected.”\
  • John Brooks, COVID-19 response chief medical officer for the CDC

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