CDC Changes COVID-19 Guidance on How Long Patients Need to Self-Isolate

Tarrah Gibbons
July 26, 2020 - 2:35 pm

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially announced that they've changed their COVID-19 guidance on how long patients need to self-isolate.

    People who have experienced mild to moderate COVID-19 can come out of isolation after ten days, reported Today. New CDC guidelines added that the person does not need to be retested before going back to work.

    Evidence shows that most people are no longer contagious ten days after they begin having symptoms of coronavirus. The CDC is now discouraging people from getting tested a second time after they recover.

    “For most persons with COVID-19 illness, isolation and precautions can generally be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms,” the CDC said.

    For people who have tested positive but don’t experience symptoms, “isolation and other precautions can be discontinued 10 days after the date of their first positive RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 RNA.”

    Dr. Joshua Barocas, an infectious disease physician at the Boston Medical Center, said doctors thought that a negative test to end isolation was not the smartest thing to do.

    However, there is an exception for the 10-day guidance. This includes people with compromised immune systems who may be infectious for a longer period of time.

    The recommendation of a 10-day isolation period is for patients who test positive and have been asked to self-isolate, but does not apply to those who have been asked to quarantine after coming in contact with the virus - a measure used to ensure those exposed don't become sick.

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