CDC Issues New Quarantine Guidelines

Volume: 19 | Issue: 73
December 3, 2020

Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced new options to shorten the 14-day recommended quarantine period for persons exposed to COVID-19. The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH) immediately embraced this announcement and issued a technical bulletin for “employers and businesses, health care providers, and public health officials managing persons who could have been exposed to COVID-19 and [are] undergoing quarantine.”

The DPBH explains that if an individual is exposed to COVID-19 and remains asymptomatic, the quarantine period can be shortened to 7 days from the date of the most recent exposure if the person receives a negative test on or after day 5 of the exposure. If no testing is available, an individual who remains asymptomatic should remain in quarantine for 10 days from the date of their most recent exposure.

The CDC also provided that “in both cases, additional criteria (e.g., continued symptom monitoring and masking through Day 14) must be met.” These additional criteria are:

  • No clinical evidence of COVID-19 has been elicited by daily symptom monitoring during the entirety of quarantine up to the time at which quarantine is discontinued; and,
  • Daily symptom monitoring continues through quarantine Day 14; and
  • Persons are counseled regarding the need to adhere strictly through quarantine Day 14 to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs, a.k.a. mitigation strategies), especially. They should be advised that if any symptoms develop, they should immediately self-isolate and contact the local public health authority or their healthcare provider to report this change in clinical status. (NPIs are: correct and consistent mask use, social distancing, hand and cough hygiene, environmental cleaning and disinfection, avoiding crowds, ensuring adequate indoor ventilation, and self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 illness.)

While a 14-day quarantine period “maximally reduces risk of post-quarantine transmission risk,” these new options are being provided because “a 14-day quarantine can impose personal burdens that may affect physical and mental health as well as cause economic hardship that may reduce compliance.” NV DPBH further explains that “recent data analysis demonstrated that most of those exposed to COVID-19 who later developed the infection did that on the third to fifth day after exposure.”

More information about these options and direction for quarantined persons who live with others can be found on the CDC’s webpage. If we can assist you with these matters, please contact a KZA attorney.

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.

Subscribe to the KZA Employer Report