Utah updates quarantine policy to match CDC's 7-10 days

Dr. Angela Dunn, state epidemiologist, talks about Utah's COVID-19 numbers during a briefing at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.

(Steve Griffin, KSL File)

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health reduced its COVID-19 quarantine time from 14 days to 7-10 days, effective immediately, to match the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's updated recommendations, state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn announced Thursday.

Those exposed to COVID-19 can now end their quarantine on the seventh day from exposure if they receive a negative test, or on the 10th day from exposure without a negative test, according to the CDC's new guidelines.

Those who have had COVID-19 within the past three months do not need to quarantine after exposure so long as the individual doesn't develop symptoms again, the CDC recommends.

Anyone who has spent a total of 15 minutes 6 feet or closer with an infected person, including over multiple visits, is considered to be exposed to the novel coronavirus, according to the CDC.

Quarantining for a full 14 days is still considered best practice, as it is possible to develop symptoms after the 10-day mark or even after testing negative on day seven, Dunn said. Wearing a mask and practicing social distancing is still crucial, she added.

However, CDC officials said offering a reduced quarantine period is aimed at relieving pressure from those facing economic stress from not being able to work during the two weeks.

Those quarantined at home should avoid all contact from others and watch for symptoms to develop — a fever, cough or shortness of breath, to name a few.

For those who choose to utilize Utah's shorter quarantine policy, they should still watch for symptoms up until the 14-day mark — even if they tested negative on day seven.

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Lauren Bennett is a reporter with KSL.com who covers Utah’s religious community and the growing tech sector in the Beehive State.


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