The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has officially shortened recommended quarantine times for people exposed to the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency still advises that exposed individuals remain in quarantine for 14 days. But emerging science has prompted it to propose new, seven- and 10-day options that may help to balance a slight risk of transmission against the negative effects of quarantine on people and communities, it announced Wednesday.

The shorter time frame may be inappropriate in some settings — including those with high contact rates — “where even a small risk of post-quarantine transmission could still result in substantial secondary clusters,” the CDC noted. 

That said, the following are acceptable alternatives that take local circumstances and resources into account, according to the agency:

  • People with no symptoms can end quarantine after 10 days. This strategy leaves a residual post-quarantine transmission risk of about 1% to 10%.
  • People who have no symptoms and have received negative diagnostic specimen test results can end their quarantine after day seven. This option is meant only for locations where diagnostic testing is “sufficient and available,” the agency said. There is a 5% to 12% risk of post-quarantine transmission in these instances. 

In each case, additional criteria such as continued symptom monitoring and masking through day 14 must be met, the agency added. Full details are available on the CDC’s website.