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CDC Shrinks COVID-19 Quarantine Time, Advises Against Holiday Travel

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2020 -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shortened the recommended length of quarantine after exposure to the new coronavirus but is again asking Americans to avoid any and all travel during the coming holiday season.

The new quarantine guidelines will allow people who have come in contact with someone infected with the virus to resume normal activity after 10 days or after seven days if they test negative for COVID-19. Until now, a 14-day quarantine period had been recommended in all cases of exposure.

For individuals who wish to travel to see family and friends over the holidays, the CDC wants them to reconsider their plans. "CDC recommends that the best way to protect yourself and others is to postpone travel and stay home," Henry Walke, M.D., the CDC COVID-19 incident manager, said during a media briefing Wednesday. For those who insist on traveling, the CDC recommends getting tested one to three days before leaving and then again three to five days after returning, he explained. Walke added that people who travel should reduce nonessential activities for seven days after returning home. If a person does not get tested after traveling, CDC recommends reducing nonessential activities for 10 days. If they experience COVID-19 symptoms, they should follow CDC guidance about what to do, he said.

In addition, Walke said that the CDC continues to encourage all Americans to wear a mask, maintain social distance, avoid crowds and indoor spaces, and wash their hands often, even as vaccines become available.

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Posted: December 2020

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