CDC makes changes to COVID-19 quarantine guidelines

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — On Friday and into Saturday, the Centers for Disease Control made some important updates for quarantine and isolation for COVID-19 cases and people who have come into contact with positive patients.

“It impacts everyone. When these decisions are made and announced, behind the scene there have been a lot of scientists, physicians, epidemiologists, data analysts looking at the evidence behind the policies and procedures recommended,” Dr. Rendi Murphree with the Mobile County Health Department said.

For anyone who has been around someone who has tested positive, whether they were symptomatic or not, you are required to quarantine at home for 14 days. That has not changed.

If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, meaning spending 15 minutes or more within six feet of a positive person regardless if you did or did not wear a mask, you must quarantine for 14 days.

The CDC is now walking away from the test-based method, meaning there is no longer a need to have two negative tests in order for people to return to work, school, or to travel. 

“There is no great need for people to go out and get tested if they are quarantined… not recommending that be done anymore,” Murphree said.

Murphree says for people to stay at home for 14 days, do not get tested, and stay at home until you ride out that 14 days of quarantine.

For COVID-19-positive patients, symptomatic or asymptotic, the period of time you must isolate at home is 10 days, and for the last 24 hours, people have to be symptom-free — no fever and no other symptoms, particularly respiratory symptoms.

“We are no longer recommending the test-based strategy. If you are COVID-19 positive, you should not get tested at all for at least three months after your first positive test,” Murphree said. “The CDC is not recommending retest for returning to work, school or travel. Do not get tested for at least three months.”

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