WHO 13 NEWS – The CDC released new recommendations last month when it comes to quarantining if you’re exposed to COVID, but they may be confusing to follow depending on when you get back your test results.
The new guidance says people should isolate for five days after a positive test, but that can be tricky if you’re not sure of the results or you can’t get confirmation until almost a week after your symptoms are gone.
“I mean they’re taking longer than what the CDC says that you can come back to work so it’s kind of a little bit pointless in a certain way you know,” Carlos Fuentes, of Ankeny, said.
Here’s what happened to Fuentes. He got sick on Jan. 3. He got a rapid test that same day and it came back positive. Like a lot of people, he wanted to be sure so he went to look for a PCR test. He couldn’t get an appointment until Jan. 6, and then it took another five days to get the results.
He doubts most people are willing to quarantine for eight days just waiting to find out if they have it.
“I think that if it takes so long, people are just going to be irresponsible and they’re just going to go back to whatever they need to do because of all they can’t really wait five, six days to get a result,” Fuentes said.
Meanwhile, those in healthcare say it’s as much about symptoms as it is about being positive.
“If the patients have been quarantining and they found out they’re positive at day five, they could possibly come out of quarantine at that time,” Jeff Brock, an infectious disease pharmacy specialist with MercyOne, said. “So the time you’re waiting really does count for your quarantine period as long as you’re really quarantining.”
According to guidelines, Fuentes did the right thing when he isolated for five days after that first rapid test. However, the CDC only wants people to leave quarantine if they will wear a mask for another five days.