The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to shorten the recommended length of quarantine for anyone exposed to a person infected with the coronavirus, even as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise dramatically across the nation.
Now, the CDC is offering both a 10-day option and a seven-day option, according to Smith.
Exposure means having close contact - generally less than 6 feet for at least 15 minutes, depending on the exposure - according to the Routt County Public Health Department. The three-day period from Friday to Sunday was the busiest travel weekend since the weekend of March 14-16.
Studies have suggested the median incubation period for the virus is five days, with 98 percent of its victims showing symptoms within 11 days.
After exposure, you monitor yourself for symptoms daily or participate in Public Health monitoring for 10 days. "The guidance is being changed at a federal level to encourage more people to get tested and encourage better compliance with quarantines". People will be able to end their quarantine after 7 days if they receive a negative test or 10 days without getting tested.
Smith said the CDC is permitting a negative result from either a molecular (PCR) or antigen rapid test.
Smith also said people who live in congregate settings, such as assisted living, should still continue to quarantine for the full 14 days.
The new guidelines will recommend close contacts of those infected with coronavirus should quarantine for seven to 10 days after exposure, down from the 14 days now recommended, the official said.
"In no circumstances would a quarantine be discontinued before seven days", Smith said.
"December and January and February are gonna be rough times".
But for those who ignore that advice, COVID-19 testing before and after trips is an option. With many patients unable or unwilling to isolate for the two weeks that health officials have recommended since the onset of the virus, some health officials have advised imposing more practical guidelines.