LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force announced on Tuesday that the CDC was considering reducing the amount of time one would need to spend in quarantine.
Current recommendations say people should quarantine for 14 days after the last day of exposure to someone known to have COVID-19. The quarantine is an effort to prevent further spread of the virus before the exposed individual knows they're sick.
"I think that is a very pragmatic move from their part. One of the problems we've had from the beginning is the two week quarantine period is very difficult to manage and probably overkill," said U of L Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jason Smith.
Under the new guidelines, health officials say the two-week quarantine could be shortened to just 7-10 days.
According to the CDC, a quarantine period is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.
People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.
"The vast majority of the people that are going to have this virus and then go on and get sick from it from a contact -- that's going to happen within 7 days of someone coming into contact with this virus," said Smith.
"One thing I am very proud of with public health is we follow the science," said Environmental Health Manager Nick Hart with Louisville Metro Public Health & Wellness.
"We've now had the opportunity to study COVID for quite some time now, we've had a lot of people focused on it. If that's where the science evidence based best practices is coming from, I'm on board with making that change," said Hart.
Dr. Smith says the guidelines would not apply to people who test positive for COVID-19. He also points out this likely won't be the last time guidelines change.
"It's changing because this is new and one of the tenants of fighting any new disease outbreak is being flexible enough that when new information comes in, we change the way we're doing things in order to best utilize that information," said Smith. "It's new. This is something that didn't exist a year ago and what we're learning today is really shaping what we understand."
The CDC has not yet announced the specifics of any new guidelines or when they're expected to be released.
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