COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - New COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report you may not have to quarantine for 14 days after exposure to the coronavirus.
If you test positive for the coronavirus, you still need to stay home for two weeks. However, if you are exposed to someone and not showing symptoms, these new guidelines may impact you.
Let’s say you are out running errands and run into a friend, you stop and chat for several minutes then head your separate ways. Later, you find out that friend is COVID-19 positive. What do you do?
You need to quarantine, but maybe not for a full two weeks. New CDC guidelines suggest if you’re not experiencing symptoms, you can get away with a 10 day isolation period.
“After the 10th day, if you have no symptoms, theoretically the transmission risk is between one and 10 percent,” said Pamela Kirkland, from the West Central Health Department.
If you are able to get tested and have a negative test result after seven days, you can venture outside of your home.
“They actually want you to test for fever every day, and monitor your symptoms if you have any,” Kirkland said. “But after that 10th day or seventh day where you would end your quarantine, still continue to wear a mask through the 14 days, the complete quarantine period.”
These new guidelines are subject to local government. In the Chattahoochee Valley that would leave the decision up to mayors like Skip Henderson or Eddie Lowe, among others.
“So, in places where the spread is higher than others, they may continue to use the 14-day quarantine. But in places where it’s lower, there’s not a lot of community spread. They may feel like like the seven day or 10 day is appropriate,” Kirkland said.
In Columbus, Kirkland suggests the Fountain City should stick with the longest timeline.
“With the increases we’ve been seeing, I think we would do well to stay where we are with our 14 days. Again, that’s going to be up to the mayor to determine that,” she said.
News Leader 9 reached out to Lowe and Henderson and have not heard back at this point.
Kirkland said especially as we enter the holiday season, it’s important to wear your mask and limit the number of people you’re in close contact with.