The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering shortening its recommended two-week quarantine period for people who have come in contact with people who have it - a change welcomed by some medical experts who say the relaxed guidelines would be easier for people to follow.
Current CDC guidelines recommend that anyone exposed to a person with the coronavirus quarantine at home for 14 days, even if they test negative for the virus. Scientists say that helps prevent further spread of the disease before they start showing symptoms or from those who don’t develop any symptoms.
However, earlier CDC Director Robert Redfield said that those guidelines were made when diagnostic testing wasn’t as readily available as it is today. At the time, Redfield said the agency was trying to determine whether a quarantine period could be shortened to as little as 7 days with a negative COVID-19 test.
The shorter quarantine period could make it easier for people to follow the CDC’s recommendations since most people were likely shortening the two-week period on their own, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former Food and Drug Commissioner, said: “For people who have COVID-19 but are asymptomatic, meaning they never develop symptoms, chances are they will no longer be very contagious after 7 to 10 days. The number of people who will contract the infection two weeks after their exposure is also very small”.