BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A new recent guideline released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that a person who tests positive for COVID-19 only needs to isolate for 10 days, instead of the previous 14-day guideline.
This applies to those with mild to moderate symptoms of coronavirus.
The Alabama Department of Public Health said this change on duration of isolation was made because the latest scientific data show most people are no longer infectious 10 days after symptoms begin.
The CDC also changed the guideline where a person does not have to be retested for COVID-19 after the 10-day isolation period.
Dr. Karen Landers, assistant state health officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health, said this will be helpful to patients and employers who are trying to return to work.
“The PCR [polymerase chain reaction] test in some persons can remain positive after the period of time that person is symptomatic and completed their isolation but that does not mean that person can transmit the virus after that period of time. There are a few people that will continue to show a positive PCR, some people actually up to 90 days,” Landers said.
Landers said it’s important to know the difference between isolation and home quarantine.
The 10-day isolation applies to people who test positive for COVID-19. The home quarantine guideline is still 14 days. Home quarantine is when someone was in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
“I do think going to the 10 days of isolation is a very useful piece of information. I do think that not requiring further testing is a useful piece of information, but I do want people to adhere to guidance we have, including the 14 days of home quarantine for contacts or time of exposure. Until we have changes in guidance, we need to follow the guidance that is before us,” Landers said.
According to ADPH, some additional revised CDC guidelines are stopping the use of reduced fever-reduced medication after 24 hours of fever versus the previous 72 hours.
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