CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued new guidelines for COVID-19 quarantine periods and for returning to work.
New guidelines began Monday that allow the quarantine period to be reduced for people who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. As long as the person has not had and continues to not have any symptoms of COVID-19, they can quarantine for eight days instead of 14.
Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said a test done on the fifth day after exposure or later must also come back negative.
Sudders also announced that health care workers, first responders, and critical infrastructure workers who test positive for COVID-19 but remain asymptomatic “may continue to work during the quarantine period to preserve critical societal functions.”
That change comes as hospitals report that COVID-19 is both increasing the number of patients that need to be treated and reducing the number of healthy doctors and nurses who can care for patients.
The CDC also altered their quarantine guidelines last week saying quarantine can now end after 10 days without a COVID-19 test if the person has reported no symptoms, or after seven days with a negative test result if the person has no symptoms.
The CDC still says though that quarantining for 14 days is the best way to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 following exposure.