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CDC is reportedly considering shortening COVID-19 quarantine time

Health officials are considering a proposal that would allow people to leave isolation after they have been fever-free for 24 hours or more.
CDC is reportedly considering shortening COVID-19 quarantine time
Posted at 2:46 PM, Feb 13, 2024

People recovering from COVID-19 may soon no longer be advised to isolate for five days. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reportedly considering updating its quarantine guidelines. 

The New York Times reported that health officials are considering a proposal that would allow people to return to their normal daily activities after they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.

The change would be a reflection of how the U.S. continues to adapt to the changing COVID-19 virus. At the height of the pandemic, people were told to quarantine for two weeks. That was eventually scaled back to 10 days. In 2021, the CDC said most people only needed to quarantine for five days. 

SEE MORE: 1 in 10 pregnant people with COVID develop long COVID within 6 months

It's unclear whether federal health officials are also considering changes to their masking guidance. While there are no longer federal mask mandates in place, the CDC recommends that people recovering from COVID-19 wear a mask for 10 days after symptoms first start. 

All major metrics that are used to track the severity of COVID-19 in the U.S. are trending downward. The CDC reports that rates of test positivity, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations have all dropped in the last week. 

While these changes are not yet finalized, we could hear the first official word this spring. If the CDC approves the change in isolation time, it would be more aligned with California and Oregon, states which say people with no symptoms don't have to isolate.

For now, a CDC spokesperson tells Scripps News that “there are no updates to COVID guidelines to announce at this time. We will continue to make decisions based on the best evidence and science to keep communities healthy and safe.”


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