The Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, informed Vice President Mike Pence and White House Coronavirus Task Force members on Tuesday that the CDC will soon issue new guidelines reducing the number of days close contacts should quarantine following exposure to a Covid-19 positive individual, two senior administration officials told CNN.
The new guidelines will recommend close contacts of those infected with the coronavirus should quarantine for 7 to 10 days after exposure, down from the 14 days currently recommended, the official said. Individuals can end their quarantine after 7 days if they receive a negative test, or 10 days without getting tested.
The CDC updated its definition of a close contact with a Covid-19 patient in late October to include multiple, brief exposures. The current definition includes exposures adding up to a total of 15 minutes spent six feet or closer to an infected person. Previously, the CDC defined a close contact as 15 minutes of continuous exposure to an infected individual.
Redfield announced the forthcoming quarantine guidelines during a coronavirus task force meeting on Tuesday, the officials said, describing the change as a data-driven decision that has been under review for weeks.
One official said Pence has been pushing the CDC for months to review the guidelines.
The CDC did not immediately return CNN’s request for comment.
Health experts continued to stress the importance of communicating and implementing mitigation measures to decrease the alarming number of coronavirus cases across the country, the official said. There was no discussion of President Donald Trump getting involved in public messaging around those mitigation measures.
Mitigation efforts include mask usage, social distancing, avoiding crowds and frequent hand-washing.