Central District Health supports CDC's new quarantine guidance

Central District Health
Posted at 8:57 AM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 11:34:53-05

BOISE, Idaho — Central District Health announced Friday it supports the Centers for Disease Control's new guidance for isolation and quarantine. CDH says while they support it, they favor the non-test-based strategy because asymptomatic testing is not widely available within its jurisdiction.

The CDC guidance says to reduce the isolation for people without symptoms but has been in close contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19. 14 days of isolation is still considered the best practice and the safest way to avoid spreading COVID-19, according to a news release from CDH.

A longer quarantine decreases a person's chances of unknowingly spreading the virus to others if infected without symptoms.

CDH says a non-test-based scenario means a person was exposed, was not tested and is showing no symptoms. This scenario means isolation can end after day 10 from the last day of close contact with the positive case, provided no symptoms are reported during daily monitoring.

The test-based-scenario is when a person was exposed, was tested and has no symptoms. CDH says when diagnostic testing resources are sufficient and available, isolation can end after day seven if diagnostic PCR specimen tests negative and no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring. The news release says the test method must be a PCR test, which is the nasal swab, and the specimen may be collected as early as five days after exposure. The quarantine can end only after the negative test result comes in, but no earlier than day seven.