The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may soon shorten the length of self-quarantine period after potential exposure to the coronavirus, a top official said on Tuesday, as the White House coronavirus task force confirmed they too are re-evaluating the recommendations.
Health authorities currently recommend a 14-day quarantine in order to curb transmission of the virus but an official said Tuesday that there is evidence that the period could be shortened if patients are tested for the virus during their quarantine.
“Let me confirm that we are constantly reviewing the evidence and we are starting to have evidence that a shorter quarantine complemented by tests might be able to shorten that quarantine period from 14 days to shorter days,” a top US health official said on a Tuesday press call.
He added that the decision to change the guidance is not final and experts are still reviewing data to make sure such a change would not put people at risk.
Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health, said on Tuesday that there is starting to be a “preponderance of evidence” that a shorter quarantine, complemented by a test, may be enough to slow the spread of Covid-19, and that a 14-day quarantine may no longer be necessary.
He did not say specifically what shorter time period is being considered.
“We are actively working on that type of guidance right now, reviewing the evidence, but we want to make absolutely sure,” he said.
“Again, these kinds of recommendations aren't willy-nilly. They’re worked on with a variety of experts.”
The US government has been criticized by experts and public health officials for being slow to ramp up COVID-19 testing.
It has also distributed nearly 40 million out of 150 million rapid tests it agreed to acquire from Abbott Laboratories earlier this year, the officials said.