State shortens quarantine guidelines


December 18, 2020

The Minnesota Department of Health issued updated Covid-19 quarantine guidance that integrates new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including options for shorter quarantines under certain conditions.

The new CDC guidance adopted by Minnesota includes several specific conditions. Shortening your quarantine period to 10 days after your most recent exposure to someone with Covid may be considered if:

• You have not tested positive for Covid, you don’t have symptoms, and you will continue to watch out for possible symptoms through day 14.

• You will continue to mask, maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, and follow other prevention guidance.

• You will isolate and get tested as soon as possible if you develop any symptoms of Covid-19.

The updated guidance allows for the quarantine period to be shortened to seven days if the person meets all the above conditions and has a negative test result — so long as that test was a PCR test (from saliva, or nose or throat) and was conducted at least five full days after the start of the quarantine period. In this scenario the person may return to regular activities if they do not have symptoms and continues to self-monitor for symptoms through day 14, continues to mask, maintains at least 6 feet of distance from others, and follows other prevention guidance.

Quarantine is one tool used to reduce the risk of spreading an infectious disease to others. A person goes into quarantine after they have had a high-risk contact with someone who was infectious, but before they are sick or test positive for a disease. Quarantining is an important public health measure because Covid can spread person-to-person before people know they are infected.

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