Washington state adopts CDC’s reduced quarantine guidelines

CDC will decrease coronavirus quarantine time from 14 to 7-10 days. This image shows a traffic sign reading, "quarantine for 14 days" above a road in Brooklyn on October 25, 2020 in New York City. (Noam Galai/Getty Images)

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Health is following instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and reducing quarantine guidelines.

Recently, the CDC shortened the quarantine for those exposed to COVID-19 to 10 days with no symptoms. Keep in mind that those who’ve contracted the virus should still stay home for the full 14 days — two weeks.

Furthermore, a person who’s in quarantine, receives a negative COVID-19 test and feels no symptoms can end their quarantine after seven days, or one week. However, the CDC and Washington state DOH suggest getting a test within 48 hours of going outside.

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These new guidelines don’t mean you shouldn’t wear your mask. It’s still totally plausible for someone to begin exhibiting symptoms within 14 days of exposure to the virus. Therefore, self-monitoring and social distancing remain high priorities for anyone exposed to the virus as asymptomatic carriers are the most likely candidates to spread COVID-19.

Public health officials recognize the hardship that an intensive lockdown can have on one’s mental and physical health. This played a significant part in the joint decision to lower the recommended quarantine length. Washington state officials also noted the economic burden posed by a two-week quarantine for economically-disadvantaged individuals.

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