Updates to COVID-19 Exposure Quarantine Period Announced

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has announced updated guidance regarding the COVID-19 exposure quarantine period, based on evaluation of information provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Public Health may now reduce the length of quarantine if specific conditions are met.

The new guidelines announced by CDC state that people who have close contact – defined as 15 minutes spent within six feet – with an infected person may have their quarantine period reduced by state and local public health officials. While the 14-day quarantine period remains the standard, there is an opportunity to reduce that to 10 days provided:

  • The individual does not develop any symptoms or clinical evidence of COVID-19 infection during daily symptom monitoring for the 10 days after the last exposure; and
  • Daily symptom monitoring and mask wearing continues through day 14 after the last exposure.

Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) will follow MDHHS guidance and adopt the 10-day quarantine option, given the requirements noted above are met, with the additional requirement that 14-day quarantine should continue as the standard in congregate settings.

“The updated guidance is based on guidance from the CDC,” said Dr. Faust, medical director for Oakland County. “With continued adherence to isolation and quarantine recommendations, as well as masking up, using social distancing, and avoiding social gatherings, we can bring our Oakland County case numbers down.”

The 14-day recommendation was based on earlier data that estimated the COVID-19 incubation period. At the national level, estimates of the COVID-19 incubation period were refined based on a review of case data for hundreds of thousands of cases. Data from that assessment indicate that 99% of all infections will present within 10 days of exposure. Reducing the length of quarantine may make it easier for people to quarantine by reducing economic hardship if they cannot work during this time. A shorter quarantine period can also lessen stress on the public health system, especially when new infections are rapidly rising. Local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last in the communities they serve, based on local conditions and needs. Follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine.  For questions, contact Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533.

The best way to prevent infection until a vaccine is available is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask, social distancing, and staying home when sick except to get medical care. COVID-19 testing is available through OCHD in the communities of Holly, Rochester, Southfield, and Pontiac, and appointments can be made by calling 800-848-5533.

For more information on COVID-19, visit www.oakgov.com/covid. Call Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-noon with health-related questions. For all other COVID-19 questions, contact the COVID-19 Help Hotline at 248-858-1000 or hotline@oakgov.com. For up-to-date public health information, follow @publichealthOC on Facebook and Twitter.

For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Oakland County media & communications officer, at (248) 858-1048.