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CDC will decrease coronavirus quarantine time from 14 to 7-10 days

CNN logo CNN 12/2/2020 By Jeremy Diamond, CNN
a person standing next to a fence: A healthcare worker administers a test at a Covid-19 testing tent outside a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in the Mission District of San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. UCSF and the Latino Task Force held post-holiday Covid-19 testing in four of the most affected neighborhoods in San Francisco, ABC7 San Francisco reports. Photographer: David Odisho/Bloomberg via Getty Images © David Odisho/Bloomberg via Getty Images A healthcare worker administers a test at a Covid-19 testing tent outside a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in the Mission District of San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. UCSF and the Latino Task Force held post-holiday Covid-19 testing in four of the most affected neighborhoods in San Francisco, ABC7 San Francisco reports. Photographer: David Odisho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, informed Vice President Mike Pence and White House Coronavirus Task Force members on Tuesday that the CDC will soon issue new guidelines reducing the number of days close contacts should quarantine following exposure to a Covid-19 positive individual, two senior administration officials told CNN.

The new guidelines will recommend close contacts of those infected with the coronavirus should quarantine for 7 to 10 days after exposure, down from the 14 days currently recommended, the official said. Individuals can end their quarantine after 7 days if they receive a negative test, or 10 days without getting tested.

The CDC updated its definition of a close contact with a Covid-19 patient in late October to include multiple, brief exposures. The current definition includes exposures adding up to a total of 15 minutes spent six feet or closer to an infected person. Previously, the CDC defined a close contact as 15 minutes of continuous exposure to an infected individual.

Redfield announced the forthcoming quarantine guidelines during a coronavirus task force meeting on Tuesday, the officials said, describing the change as a data-driven decision that has been under review for weeks.


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One official said Pence has been pushing the CDC for months to review the guidelines.

The CDC did not immediately return CNN's request for comment.

Health experts continued to stress the importance of communicating and implementing mitigation measures to decrease the alarming number of coronavirus cases across the country, the official said. There was no discussion of President Donald Trump getting involved in public messaging around those mitigation measures.

Mitigation efforts include mask usage, social distancing, avoiding crowds and frequent hand-washing.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JULY 20: A medical staff member takes the heart rate and blood pressure of a person who is COVID-19 positive in their hotel room turned into a hospital for people who do not need hospitalization during week 19 of radical quarantine on July 20, 2020 in Caracas, Venezuela. To manage hospital occupation rates, Venezuelan government has 4,000 hotel rooms nationwide to host and isolate patients of COVID-19 with no or mild symptoms. The Milenio hotel, in the Chaguaramas area, has 60 rooms and is now hosting 61 patients. They stay in single or double rooms with air conditioning, cable TV and internet service. Three groups of doctors rotate in shifts of three days and stay at the hotel. Patients are tested every two or three days and receive doses of Chloroquine and Azithromycin. There is international concern about the real capacity of the government of Nicolas Maduro to control the pandemic due to the health, social and economic crisis the country is going through. According to Johns Hopkins University, Venezuela has 12,334 positive cases (half of them already recovered) and 116 reported deaths. (Photo by Leonardo Fernandez Viloria/Getty Images) © Leonardo Fernandez Viloria/Getty Images CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JULY 20: A medical staff member takes the heart rate and blood pressure of a person who is COVID-19 positive in their hotel room turned into a hospital for people who do not need hospitalization during week 19 of radical quarantine on July 20, 2020 in Caracas, Venezuela. To manage hospital occupation rates, Venezuelan government has 4,000 hotel rooms nationwide to host and isolate patients of COVID-19 with no or mild symptoms. The Milenio hotel, in the Chaguaramas area, has 60 rooms and is now hosting 61 patients. They stay in single or double rooms with air conditioning, cable TV and internet service. Three groups of doctors rotate in shifts of three days and stay at the hotel. Patients are tested every two or three days and receive doses of Chloroquine and Azithromycin. There is international concern about the real capacity of the government of Nicolas Maduro to control the pandemic due to the health, social and economic crisis the country is going through. According to Johns Hopkins University, Venezuela has 12,334 positive cases (half of them already recovered) and 116 reported deaths. (Photo by Leonardo Fernandez Viloria/Getty Images) a car driving down a busy highway: NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 25: A traffic sign reads, "quarantine for 14 days" above a road in Brooklyn on October 25, 2020 in New York City. The pandemic has caused long-term repercussions throughout the tourism and entertainment industries, including short-term and permanent closures of historic and iconic venues, and costing the city and businesses billions in revenue. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images) © Noam Galai/Getty Images NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 25: A traffic sign reads, "quarantine for 14 days" above a road in Brooklyn on October 25, 2020 in New York City. The pandemic has caused long-term repercussions throughout the tourism and entertainment industries, including short-term and permanent closures of historic and iconic venues, and costing the city and businesses billions in revenue. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
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