SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - As doctors and researches continue to learn more about COVID-19, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidelines.
Specifically, about how long someone infected or exposed to the virus should quarantine.
“This is part of the lesson plan for COVID as we get more data, and remember we’ve only had this disease for about seven months,” said Dr. Jay Wolfson, Public Health & Medicine Professor at The University of South Florida.
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 only needs to isolate for 10 days after they get those test results. This shortening of time from the original 14 days was decided because the latest scientific data shows most people are no longer contagious 10 days after the infection begins – even if you had symptoms.
“Wait 10 days after those symptoms started, and then you want to have a full 24 hour period, after that, where you have no fever without no medications and any other symptoms you might have had began to diminish markedly,” said Dr. Wolfson.
However, the CDC says not everyone is clear after 10 days. The incubation period is still 14 days.
“The 14 day period is if you don’t get tested, but you know you’ve been exposed and you don’t have symptoms, or you do have symptoms but you haven’t been tested yet. It’s the utmost caution,” Dr. Wolfson explained.
Plus, the CDC also changed the guidelines on getting re-tested after getting a positive test result. they say, there is no need to be tested after those 10 days because particles can stay in your body for weeks. Meaning, although a person may still have COVID-19, they can not spread it to others. This will be helpful to patients and employers who are trying to return to work.
“The unpredictability of testing sites has been a big struggle for companies who had put that original parameter in place of having to have two negative tests results to return. The new parameters that the CDC have outlined is going to allow business owners to navigate things a little bit easier,” explained Heather Kasten, the President & CEO of the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.
However, doctors do want businesses to use caution. They believe you can COVID-19 more than once, so social distancing and masks should still be required by all employees.