MDHHS recommending 14 day quarantine for COVID-19 exposures, again.

April 7, 2021

MDHHS recommending 14 day quarantine for COVID-19 exposures, again.

Due to the increasing rates of COVID-19 and the spread of COVID-19 variants, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has reinstituted a standard 14-day quarantine for all close contacts to a positive COVID-19 case.

The Center Disease Control (CDC) has continued to endorse a 14-day quarantine throughout the COVID-19 pandemic stating that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus. Local public health authorities determine and establish the quarantine options for their jurisdictions based on local circumstances and resources. Currently, the ongoing COVID-19 surge and increasing number of variant cases in Michigan has led local public health authorities to determine that returning to a 14-day quarantine is the best option at this time.

The risk of transmitting COVD-19 after leaving quarantine after 14 days is about zero to 3% (average 0.1%). The risk is estimated to be about 1% to 10% (average 1.4%) when quarantine ends after 10 days. When quarantine is decreased to seven days even with a negative test, the risk of transmitting COVD-19 after leaving quarantine is estimated to be about 5% to 12% (average 4% with negative PCR, 5.5% with negative antigen test).


Who needs to quarantine? 

Most people who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

What counts as a close contact? 

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more total over the past 24 hours.
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (such as hugged or kissed them).
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils.
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.

Who does not need to quarantine? 

  • People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past three months and recovered do not have to quarantine or get tested again as long as they do not develop new symptoms of COVID-19.
    • People who develop symptoms again within three months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again and should follow up with their healthcare provider.
  • People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated against the disease and do not develop symptoms of COVID-19.

 What is the difference between quarantine and isolation? 

  • Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others.
  • Isolation keeps someone who is infected with the virus away from others, even in their home.

Steps to take when you need to quarantine: 

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • Watch for fever (100.4 degrees or higher), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19
  • Get tested for COVID-19 if possible.

NOTE:  Quarantine is 14 full days starting after the last day of exposure to someone contagious with COVID-19.

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