CDC urges Americans to stay home for holidays or get tested twice, also shortens quarantine to 7-10 days

Cdc Urges Americans To Stay Home For Holidays Or Get Tested Twice, Also Shortens Quarantine To 7 10 Days
Susan Walsh

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield speaks during a news conference with the coronavirus task force at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Health officials on Wednesday urged Americans to stay home over the upcoming holiday season and consider getting tested for coronavirus before and after if they do decide to travel.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the best way to stay safe and protect others is to stay home.

That’s the same advice they had over Thanksgiving but many Americans traveled anyway. With COVID-19 cases and deaths continuing to rise, the CDC added the testing option.

The CDC says even if few people became infected while traveling over Thanksgiving, that could still result in hundreds of thousands of new infections.

During a news briefing, the CDC said travelers should consider getting COVID-19 tests one to three days before their trips and again three to five days afterward. They also recommended reducing non-essential activities for a full week after travel or for 10 days if not tested afterward.

Also, in earlier CDC news:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to shorten the recommended length of quarantine after exposure to someone who is positive for COVID-19, as the virus rages across the nation.

According to a senior administration official, the new guidelines, which are set to be released as soon as Tuesday evening, will allow people who have come in contact to someone infected with the virus to resume normal activity after 10 days, or 7 days if they receive a negative test result. That’s down from the 14-day period recommended since the onset of the pandemic.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preview the announcement, said the policy change has been discussed for some time, as scientists have studied the incubation period for the virus. The policy would hasten the return to normal activities by those deemed to be “close contacts” of those infected with the virus, which has infected more than 13.5 million Americans and killed at least 270,000.

While the CDC had said the incubation period for the virus was thought to extend to 14 days, most individuals became infectious and developed symptoms between 4 and 5 days after exposure.

Virus by the numbers