CDC Issues New Guidelines, Indiana's Top Health Experts Urges Hoosiers to Remain Cautious


STATEWIDE -- The Centers for Disease Control have loosened their quarantine recommendations for people who have been exposed to COVID-19, but Indiana's health commissioner is still advising caution.

The C-D-C had previously recommended that close contacts of people who test positive quarantine for two weeks -- Governor Holcomb and First Lady Janet Holcomb just finished a quarantine Tuesday, and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and his wife Steph are quarantining until Friday. But the agency now says you can hold that to 10 days if you don't have symptoms. If you test negative, the C-D-C says a week should be enough.

State health commissioner Kris Box says she'd rather people anxious to get out of quarantine faster follow the 10-day recommendation, to leave more testing space for people who do have symptoms. She notes the exploding volume of cases and tests has stretched out the time it takes to get results.

Both Box and the C-D-C say you need to stay extra alert for symptoms after leaving quarantine, and follow the usual coronavirus precautions of washing your hands regularly, wearing a mask, and socially distancing. You can still be a carrier even if you don't have symptoms yourself. And both say you should stick to the two-week recommendation if you're in contact with people with weakened immune systems or others at high risk.

Box says if you're able to do your job effectively from home, a two-week quarantine still comes closer to eliminating any risk. But she says the looser recommendations should get students back in school faster. And she says hospital manpower shortages created by infections and quarantines have prompted some workers to isolate for less time than recommended. She says the revision should be a "comfort" to them, though she says they still should let others tend to high-risk patients if possible.