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DOH in Okeechobee County Explains New CDC COVID-19 Options to Reduce Quarantine

By Amy Cormier

December 09, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a scientific brief that provides options to reduce quarantine time frames for COVID-19.

What is Quarantine? Quarantine is used to separate someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from other people. Quarantine helps prevent the spread of disease that can occur before a
person knows they have the virus.

While a 14-day quarantine is still the current recommendation of the CDC, there are some additional options for asymptomatic contacts to end quarantine earlier than 14 days. As a reminder, close contacts
are those individuals who have been within six feet of an infected individual for a cumulative of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, regardless of mask usage.

Asymptomatic – people without symptoms.

1. If an asymptomatic close contact gets tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on Day 6 or later and receives a negative result, then they may end quarantine after completion of Day 7.
2. Without testing, an asymptomatic close contact my end quarantine after completion of Day 10.

In both scenarios, individuals must adhere strictly to public health mitigation through Day 14, including correct and consistent use of a face mask, social distancing, hand hygiene, avoiding
close contact and crowds, and self-monitoring for symptoms.

Close contacts who develop symptoms within the 14 days should seek medical care and testing. Close contacts who test positive for COVID-19 are considered a case and should isolate for at least 10 days
from symptom onset. COVID-19 positive cases should stay separated from household members to the greatest extent possible, including using a separate bedroom and bathroom, if possible.

Please note that close contacts connected to health care or other long-term care facility setting with medically vulnerable population (e.g., long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, nursing homes,
acute care hospitals) and other setting may not end quarantine prior to the 14-day time period.


Florida Department of Health is implementing these guidelines effective immediately. For more information, please visit the CDC’s Web page.

Students of Okeechobee County School District schools, may be excluded from some athletic sports where the use of face masks aren’t feasible through the remainder of their 14 day quarantine periodFor more Information on COVID-19.