How changes to CDC COVID guidelines could affect NJ — Top news for 11/25
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may revise its quarantine recommendations for those exposed to the novel coronavirus.
The current recommendation to isolate after an exposure is based on how long it takes for the virus to incubate in the body. However, with expanded testing, the CDC may shorten the quarantine advisory to as few as 7 or 10 days. The caveat, however, is getting tested during the quarantine period. In other words, if you go into quarantine and test negative, you could emerge from quarantine after a shorter period of time.
A CDC spokesman told NBC News the agency is constantly reviewing guidance and recommendations based on new understandings of the virus, but no timetable for any announcement was provided.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield has been signaling a change is policy for weeks. As early as October, Redfield acknowledged the difficulties of getting people to go into self-isolation for two weeks. "Obviously," he sad, "We don't want people to be quarantined 14 days unnecessarily," and said health officials were looking into a way to shorten that period. Research has shown the days most critical for isolation are between days four and seven of an exposure.
Assistant Health and Humans Services Secretary Dr. Brett Giroir said Tuesday during an unrelated briefing there was strong evidence suggesting the quarantine period could be reduced if the person exposed was tested.
In its latest travel advisory, the CDC said international air travelers should be tested three to days after returning home, and if the test was negative to quarantine for seven days — as it can take at least that long after exposure before a person registers a positive test. Without a test, the CDC said to remain isolated for a full two weeks.
New Jersey's guidelines remain in-line with current CDC recommendations to quarantine for 14 days upon exposure. Any change could have a significant impact on many areas of daily life in the Garden State. Part of the guidance offered for a safe Thanksgiving was not to host anyone who has not lived in your house for the last 14 days. The shorter quarantine period could alter rules for schools that have student or staff exposures, MVC closures and how businesses deal with employees who have an exposure.
They key, however, would be access to testing. New Jersey has been testing as many as 40,000 people per day, but many public testing sites continue to fill up daily with people often waiting in line for hours. Private testing facilities charge as much as $150 to make an appointment. Some in the medical community have criticized that inequity.
Other Top NJ News:
- How have you altered your Thanksgiving plans? Based on your social media comments and calls to our shows, emotions run the gamut from resignation to defiance and outright hostility.
- Pennsylvania has banned alcohol sales in restaurants, bars and private catered events starting at 5 p.m.
- Hospitalizations are approaching 2,800 for COVID infections.
- New Jersey hospitals may soon take on newly created guidelines to clear up confusion about when you can visit.
- 500,000 air travelers are expected to pass through area airports between now and Sunday. Last year it was 1.7 million.
- After hard resistance from the NJEA, Lakewood will not require teachers to sign an agreement that they would follow all federal safety measures pertaining to coronavirus at all times.
- Democrats in the legislature are expected to kill a Republican measure that would allow businesses to sue the state to recoup losses as a result of Governor Murphy's closure orders.
- A New Jersey college is giving its biology students the tools to set up a home laboratory.
- Virtually all police officers on patrol duty will now be required to wear body cameras in NJ.
- When we get back to some normalcy, some local businesses as hoping you will visit "The Sack." That's the official name the Main Street Business Alliance will use to promote downtown Hackensack.
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