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Changing knowledge of COVID led to quarantine guidelines change according to FSU professor

This is the second time the CDC has shortened quarantine recommendations: Originally, quarantine was 14 days.
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 4:43 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Despite the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases across the country, quarantine times are now being cut in half by the CDC, with the organization releasing new guidelines on Monday.

It comes in response to research showing most COVID transmission occurs in the first few days of the illness.

This is the second time the CDC has shortened quarantine recommendations: Originally, quarantine was 14 days.

“If you’re confused, then you’re in the right boat because it’s confusing everybody,” said Dr. Daniel Van Durme with FSU’s College of Medicine.

Dr. Van Durme says this latest decision is based on changing knowledge of the virus.

“And the best science as we learn more is that that infectious period is a shorter window than we thought,” he explained.

Data shows that most COVID transmission occurs in the one or two days before symptoms appear and two to three days after.

“So by five days out, so most people really aren’t spreading it anymore,” Dr. Van Durme explained. “So it seems safe to be able to let them go back reenter society, if you will.”

Still, some say these new guidelines haven’t changed their minds.

“If it were me, I’d probably still quarantine longer,” said FSU student Meghan Gilmore.

“It seems like the guidelines are kind of a moving playing field,” added James Hennessey, a Tallahassee resident. “I don’t think we should change our behavior much on these guidelines.”

Hennessey is retired, so he says quarantining wouldn’t be a problem for him.

“Basically we’ve been quarantining all year so I don’t think quarantining for 10 days is that much of an imposition,” he continued.

For others, it’s a very different story. Quarantining can place a burden on those who work or go to school in person and the new CDC guidance will allow them to return much sooner.

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