Local hospitals urge people to remain vigilant amid CDC quarantine guideline changes

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control changed the guidelines, allowing symptom-free COVID-19 patients to end their quarantines after 10 days.
Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 9:49 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made adjustments to the recommended quarantine time for patients who contract COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the CDC announced people can end quarantine after 10 days, without a test, if they have no symptoms. If individuals receive a negative test, they can end their quarantine after seven days. That said, the CDC still encourages people to monitor their symptoms for 14 days, especially if they end quarantine early.

UofL Health’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jason Smith told WAVE 3 News his team can implement the new guidelines immediately.

“This one is an easy one for us to do and it’s easy for us to implement across the system,” Smith said. “And I think it makes sense from a practical perspective.”

The new CDC guidelines come on the same day the United Kingdom approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for use. Both Pfizer and Moderna have submitted their vaccines to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization in the United States. Dr. Smith said he expects coronavirus patients in the U.S. to begin receiving vaccines before the year’s end.

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Smith said. “[Vaccine distribution] will be limited at first, but over the next few months, will have widespread impact on the transmission of this disease. There’s no two ways about it. The more people we can get immunized, the better we will be and the safer we will be as a community.”

Despite the good news, there are still hurdles to jump.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear on Tuesday announced a record number of one-day coronavirus cases.

On Wednesday, Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital’s Chief Administrative Officer Charlotte Ipsan told WAVe 3 News they have the highest number of COVID-19 patients in their hospitals than ever before, and encouraged people not to let their guards down.

“We know social distancing, we know limiting social gatherings, we know hand washing, masking up all of those things are what slow the virus,” Ipsan said. “And we need to do all of those things all of the time.”

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