Health departments reduce COVID-19 exposure quarantine time to 10 days

Posted at 10:23 AM, Apr 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 10:23:03-04

WEST MICHIGAN — The Kent County and Ottawa County health departments are changing their quarantine guidelines for people exposed to COVID-19 to align with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols.

Effective immediately, the new guidance shortens the quarantine period for exposed people from 14 days to 10 days, according to a news release Friday.

The previous 14-day quarantine period was based on the full incubation period of the virus.

However, data shows 90 to 99% of COVID-19 infections happen within 10 days of exposure.

Residents can be released from quarantine after 10 days – without testing – if they conduct daily symptom monitoring through day 10 after the last exposure and they do not have any symptoms or clinical evidence of the virus.

If a potentially exposed individual develops symptoms during the 10 days, Kent County health officials say they should seek testing and self-isolate while awaiting results.

In addition, potentially exposed individuals should adhere to mitigation strategies after leaving self-quarantine like mask use, social distancing and hygiene practices.

A 10-day quarantine period doesn’t apply to those living in congregate settings or who work with individuals in high-risk groups.

“This change will make it easier for individuals to complete their quarantine and still reduce the spread of the virus,” Kent County Health Department Medical Director Dr. Nirali Bora said. “However, we encourage residents to remain vigilant and to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”