Washington, Dec 3 : The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revised its guidelines regarding the Covid-19 quarantine period, from 14 days to seven to 10 days, depending on one's test results and symptoms.
If individuals do not develop symptoms, they only need quarantine for 10 days without testing; if they test negative, that period can be reduced to seven days, Xinhua news agency quoted the guidelines updated on the CDC website on Wednesday as saying.
The revision marked a significant change from the CDC's guidelines since the start of the pandemic, which recommended a 14-day quarantine after last exposure.
"Reducing the length of quarantine may make it easier for people to quarantine by reducing economic hardship if they cannot work during this time," said the CDC.
"In addition, a shorter quarantine period can lessen stress on the public health system, especially when new infections are rapidly rising," it noted.
The CDC requested people who have been in close contact with someone who has been infected to quarantine, excluding people who have had Covid-19 within the past three months.
The agency defines "close contact" as having been within six feet of someone who has Covid-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more; having provided care at home to someone who is sick with the virus; having had direct physical contact with the person; having shared eating or drinking utensils; being affected when someone who is infected-19 sneezed, coughed, or got respiratory droplets around.
The CDC requires people in quarantine to stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.
The new guidelines came as Covid-19 hospitalisations in the US reached an all-time high of over 100,000 on Wednesday.
Currently there are 100,226 COVID-19 hospitalized patients in the country, according to the latest data of the Covid Tracking Project.
The guidelines come as the US is currently the worst-hit country by the coronavirus pandemic with the highest number of cases and fatalties, according to Johns Hopkins University.
In its latest update on Thursday, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the country's overall caseload and death toll stood at 13,916,543 and 273,316, respectively.
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