The CDC has updated their guidelines related to COVID-19 quarantine after a known exposure. In the new guidelines, they provide an option for people to return to work 10 days after an exposure or on day 7 with a negative PCR test (test must be on day 5 or later), as opposed to the earlier guidelines that only recommended a 14-day quarantine. It is important to note that this change is intended to help ease the financial burden of being out of work, not because we have new information on how COVID19 spreads.
I have two thoughts on this:
- This new recommendation should be used sparingly and in a case-by-case basis, especially in the middle of a dramatic surge of COVID-19 cases. The last thing we need is less stringent guidelines causing unnecessary exposures.
- I actually agree with the new recommendation of delayed testing (on day 5 or later) for those with known exposure but are asymptomatic. This reduces the false-negative rates that arises with being tested too early.
A 14-day quarantine is still the gold standard, per the CDC, and safest route for our communities, even after a negative test.
No changes have been made to those with a positive COVID-19 PCR test:
- If sick: quarantine for 10 days since symptoms first appeared and must be >24hrs without fever and other COVID19 symptoms are improving.
- If no symptoms: quarantine for 10 days after the positive COVID19 test.
I understand that many of us experience financial hardships surrounding a 14-day quarantine and welcome a change that allows us (or our family members) to return to work earlier. Your clinician at VFM will help make the best recommendation for you, both weighing your personal needs with the safety of our community.
If you have concerns for exposure or are having symptoms consistent with COVID19, please call our office to schedule a telehealth visit today. We remain diligent at caring for you during this difficult time and hope that you remain healthy and well this holiday season.
Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay safe!