Are covid-19 isolation periods after exposure too long? The CDC is reconsidering the 14-day quarantine as science leads the way.
If you were exposed to someone who has covid-19, the blanket recommendation of a 14-day quarantine Covid-19 isolation period has been the norm since early in the pandemic. This has caused businesses to shut down and employees to self isolate as they follow the rules who hopefully prevent others from getting infected too. This has also been costly for businesses and the economy as a whole.
What makes Covid-19 more difficult is the fact that most people who are infected or exposed never have any symptoms, but may infect others while they have no symptoms themselves.
If you listen to Governor Murphy’s addresses, even though the numbers of people who tested positive have gone up, far fewer are entering hospitals or are staying in them than early in the pandemic. Much of this is due to increased testing capacity as well as an improved understanding of how to treat it outside of the hospital if you are symptomatic and how to reduce a covid-19 hospital stay and improve recovery rates. Also, there is the vaccine which should begin to roll out toward the end of December after emergency approvals.
Scientists who have been able to look at months of data are now questioning the need for a 14-day blanket quarantine and they are probably going to reduce it to 10 days or less for people to safely return to work.
The road to normal and the vaccine will help us achieve normal faster, and those who have already developed immunity naturally are unlikely to get Covid-19 twice even though there seem to be a small number of cases of reinfection reported.
Check out the latest info from the NY Times regarding the rethinking of quarantine periods.
Should Isolation Periods Be Shorter for People With Covid-19?
Patients are usually most infectious two days before symptoms begin and for five days after, a new analysis finds.
By Apoorva Mandavilli Nov. 29, 2020
People with Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, are most infectious about two days before symptoms begin and for five days afterward, according to a new analysis of previous research.
A few patients who are extremely ill or have impaired immune systems may expel — or “shed” — the virus for as long as 20 days, other studies have suggested. Even in mild cases, some patients may shed live virus for about a week, the new analysis found.
The accumulating data presents a quandary: Should public health officials shorten the recommended isolation time if it means more infected people will cooperate? Or should officials opt for longer periods in order to prevent transmission in virtually all cases, even if doing so takes a harsher toll on the economy?