US CDC may soon shorten COVID-19 quarantine period

US CDC may soon shorten COVID-19 quarantine period

A passenger walks past a coronavirus testing sign at Tom Bradley
A passenger walks past a coronavirus testing sign at Tom Bradley international terminal at LAX airport, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Los Angeles, California, on Nov 23, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

WASHINGTON: The US 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 (Nov 24).

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.

The US government has been criticised 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.

New coronavirus cases in the United States are averaging nearly 172,000 a day and have exceeded 100,000 since early November, according to a Reuters tally.

US total deaths due to coronavirus reached nearly 259,000 on Tuesday with over 12.5 million cases.

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Source: Reuters/ec

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