Readers of JUCM News know the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shortened the amount of time it recommends quarantining for certain people with, or who have been exposed to, COVID-19. Now the College of Urgent Care Medicine is advising urgent care providers to read the proverbial fine print in that guidance. The CUCM stresses that the CDC statement offers “acceptable alternatives” to the quarantine periods, in spite of the fact that multiple media reports indicated a one-size-fits-all 10-day quarantine period would suffice. Those alternatives, in the CUCM’s reading of the CDC recommendations, “are options based on local circumstances and resources designed to improve compliance where testing resources allow for rapid result turnaround vs in areas where testing resources are constrained or when rapid results are not readily accessible.” Further, the CUCM statement continued, “The tradeoff for possible improved compliance with the ‘acceptable alternatives’ is increased postquarantine transmission risk. This is estimated at 1% for 10-day quarantine without testing and 4% for 7-day quarantine with a negative molecular test vs 0.1% with the existing 14-day quarantine guideline.” So, in essence, the shorter the quarantine period, the greater the risk of spread. Bear this in mind when counseling patients and assessing staff exposure.
CUCM Advises Close Scrutiny to the Reassessment of the COVID-19 Quarantine Period