DOH: South Dakota to follow CDC’s guidelines reducing quarantine times
(Dakota News Now) - South Dakota health officials say the state will follow new CDC guidelines reducing recommended quarantine times following exposure to a close COVID-19 contact, and is bolstering testing to support those guidelines.
The CDC on Wednesday announced they are revising quarantine guidance for people who have been in contact with someone infected with the coronavirus. Officials now say those people can resume normal activity after 10 days, or seven days if they receive a negative test result. That’s down from the 14-day period recommended since the pandemic began.
In a press briefing Wednesday, State Epidemiologist Joshua Clayton said the South Dakota Department of Health will adopt the new guidelines, effective Thursday.
Individuals who have had a close contact but have not shown any COVID-19 symptoms can end their quarantine after 10 days, Clayton said. That number can be reduced to seven days if they get a negative test - whether that is a nasal swab test or a rapid antigen test. The test can be taken as soon as the fifth day after exposure. He said individuals who end quarantine early will be asked to continue to monitor their symptoms for 14 days after the initial exposure.
Clayton said the CDC’s decision comes as the scientific community’s understanding of the coronavirus “continues to evolve,” and that officials continue to adapt guidelines as that knowledge grows.
Sec. of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said the state is boosting coronavirus testing options for close contacts to help reduce quarantine times. This includes expanding at-home saliva tests to be made available for anyone exposed to an infected individual. Previously, it had been available only for household close contacts.
Maslam-Rysdon said people can order the at-home test online, and it is shipped to their home overnight. The test comes with a return package with pre-paid postage, and is shipped directly to a laboratory for processing. The state pays for the cost of the testing, as well as shipping.
Over 500 households have already used the at-home tests, Maslam-Rysdon said.
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