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CDC changes COVID-19 guidelines, exposed individuals can now wait just seven days in some cases

The CDC director said Tuesday that they plan to release new guidelines soon.

Updated: December 2, 2020 - 3:29pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The CDC announced Wednesday that it has decreased the recommended length of quarantine time to 7-10 days for someone who has come into contact with an infected person — down from the original 14-day guidance. 

Exposed individuals will have the option to take a test after seven days of quarantine to verify they are negative, or they will still need to quarantine for a remaining three days, totaling a 10-day quarantine period, without testing. 

In October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its definition of close contact to specify being near an infected person for more than 15 minutes while being six feet or closer to them. Before the change, close contact had simply meant 15 minutes of continuous exposure to a positive person. 

CDC Director Robert Redfield presented the newly revised guidance as data-driven in a meeting Tuesday of the White House coronavirus task force, CNN reported. The change had been under review for weeks, with Vice President Mike Pence, leader of the task force, pushing for updated guidelines for several months, according to an administration source cited by the cable network.