The new CDC guidelines provide options to reduce COVD-19 quarantine in an effort to increase community compliance (1). This guidance relies on organizations integrating daily health screening and diagnostic testing with their quarantine management program. The CDC recommends a quarantine period of 14 days. The options for reducing quarantine are accepted by the CDC, however, they do carry a risk of post-quarantine transmission.

CDC Quarantine Alternative Options Recap 

The CDC has accepted two options for reduced quarantine of 7 or 10 days. Both options include the continued adoption of preventive health measures. These measures include daily health screening and wearing masks throughout the 14 day quarantine period. 

Option #1: 10 Day Quarantine

Employees can complete quarantine after 10 days without getting tested if the following criteria is met: 

They have no symptoms of COVID-19 which they monitor and report on a daily basis. 

Potential Risk

Like any alternative option that offers to shorten the quarantine period there’s a risk. Residual post-quarantine transmission risk is about 1% with an upper limit of about 10%. 

Option #2: 7 Day Quarantine

Employees can complete quarantine after 7 days if the following criteria are met:

They test negative for COVID-19 AND
They have no symptoms of COVID-19 which they monitor and report on a daily basis.

Potential Risk

This strategy has an increased level of risk. The residual post-quarantine transmission risk is estimated to be about 5% with an upper limit of about 12%.

What tools do you need for effective quarantine management? 

Employers considering changing their quarantine protocol as a result of the CDC guidance should be mindful of the risk. An effective quarantine management solution should equip administrations with tools to evaluate risk amongst their workforce. 

Employee Screening 

Whether you are choosing 7, 10, or 14 day quarantine period users should be reporting their symptoms regularly. Effective employee screening services must include a daily symptom checker where employees can report their health status even while in quarantine.

COVID-19 Test Data Management 

Administrators must have a platform where they can see the number of employees tested for COVID-19 as well as their results. 

Contact Tracing

Although not directly mentioned by the CDC, organizations are taking on the risk of post quarantine transmission. For this reason, we strongly recommend that employers establish a contact tracing plan. Administrators should be able to quickly reach out to employees who were in close contact with positive COVID-19 cases. 

Should your organization adopt the new CDC guidelines? 

For the well-being of you and the employees at your organization the CDC suggests a 14-day quarantine period. However, if your organization must shorten quarantine then this guidance should be followed according to the CDC’s criteria. Employers must have the tools to sustain daily symptom checks and diagnostic testing in order to be successful. We also recommend they implement a contact tracing solution to minimize the risks of adopting a shorter quarantine period. 

Book a demo with our team to try our symptom screening and contact tracing tools!

References:

Options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing