Following an update to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Joplin Health Department has updated its protocol to shorten quarantine timeframes.
For those not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, there are two potential quarantine options.
- Quarantine can be shortened to seven days following a negative COVID-19 test result. The test must be collected within 48 hours of the planned release from quarantine.
- Quarantine can be shortened to 10 days without a test.
Previously, close contacts were asked to quarantine for 14 days from their exposure date. This change reflects the growing evidence around lessened risk of becoming sick in the late days of quarantine. CDC estimates that for those who have a negative test, there would be a 5 to 12% likelihood of becoming sick after seven days. For those who do not test, there would be a 1 to 10% likelihood of becoming sick after 10 days.
CDC cautions, however, that less risk does not mean no risk.
Those who are released from quarantine after seven or ten days are urged to continue to practice caution for the remainder of the 14-day quarantine period, including vigilant masking, hand washing, distancing and monitoring for symptoms.
There has been no change to isolation procedures—those who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate for ten days following the start of symptoms, or the testing date if the individual is asymptomatic, and can be released no earlier than those ten days as long as symptoms improve and the individual has not experienced a fever in the previous 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
During this pandemic, and in the public health practice as a whole, it is important to review emerging data and new information on a regular basis in order to base decisions on current findings,” said Ryan Talken, Director of the Joplin Health Department. “We recognize the desire to return to normal activities, however our top priority is protecting the public’s health. Both considerations can be addressed with this new timeframe. It is based on key findings and solid data, and we are comfortable in this adjustment of the quarantine period.”