ADPH working on reducing required COVID-19 quarantine period when possible


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WDHN) — The Alabama Department of Public Health will soon change its procedures for a reduced quarantine for those exposed to COVID-19.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously recommended two new options for quarantines, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris is the only one who can make the decision.

According to health officials, fourteen days is still the best option for a quarantine period since it covers the incubation phase of COVID-19 infections. In addition, the ADPH said shorter quarantine periods can be risky due to Alabama’s high rate of community spread, percent positivity, and the need to limit COVID-19 tests to symptomatic or high-risk people.

“While we would like to be able to decrease the home quarantine time frame to seven days for persons who may have been exposed to COVID-19, this is not possible at this time due to a number of reasons including our high case numbers and the disparity in testing resources among different parts of our state,” Harris said. “We should not knowingly increase the percentage of possibly infectious asymptomatic persons out and about. “

Meanwhile, the ADPH is working on a change to reduce required quarantines to 10 days under certain conditions per CDC guidelines.

These include:

  • No present symptoms
  • Daily self-monitoring
  • Practicing social distancing and mask-wearing

The process should be finalized by Dec. 11. Even when excused from a 14-day quarantine, the ADPH said people need to monitor their health within the two-week period.

Residents of long-term care and correctional facilities will still need to follow the current 14-day requirement.

Harris also asked residents to continue practicing social distancing and wearing masks per the state’s orders.

“Please protect the most vulnerable people in our state by doing the right things,” Harris said.

More information concerning the CDC’s quarantine guidance can be found here.

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