CDC Drops 14-Day Quarantine Recommendation for Overseas, Out-of-State Travelers

August 24, 2020 Updated: August 25, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has removed its recommendation for travelers to quarantine for 14 days after returning from trips out of state or overseas during the pandemic.

While updating its travel guidelines on Aug. 21, the CDC still advises that travel increases the risk of contracting and spreading the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, adding that staying at home is “the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.”

“You and your travel companions (including children) may spread COVID-19 to other people including your family, friends, and community for 14 days after you were exposed to the virus,” the CDC noted, adding that even people who feel well and don’t show any symptoms can still spread the potentially deadly bug.

The CDC urges travelers to take precautions, including maintaining social distancing guidelines, washing hands thoroughly, and wearing masks.

The agency notes, however, that some state, local, and tribal governments may have separate requirements on self-quarantining, and travelers are advised to review relevant guidelines.

Passenger checks in using a touchscree
A passenger checks in using a touchscreen at JetBlue’s terminal in John F. Kennedy International Airport, in New York City on March 14, 2020. (Kathy Willens/AP Photo)

Entry into the United States from a number of locations remains restricted, including from China, Iran, Brazil, and most European countries.

The CCP virus death toll and case count have been climbing for months in the United States, with a Johns Hopkins tally reporting more than 5.7 million Americans infected and more than 177,000 deaths.

Hope has increased for a shift in the dynamics of the outbreak as pharmaceutical companies continue to work toward a possible vaccine for COVID-19, and after the U.S. government on Aug. 23 approved an emergency authorization to allow the use of convalescent plasma to treat patients. The plasma, which comes from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies, may help people battling the disease.

Meanwhile, University of Hong Kong scientists claim to have the first evidence of someone being reinfected with the CCP virus, after genetic tests showed that a 33-year-old man returning to Hong Kong from a trip to Spain had a different strain of the virus than the one he’d previously been infected with in March, according to a microbiologist who led the work.

Whether people who have had COVID-19 are immune to new infections and how long their immunity may last are important questions, with implications for vaccine development.

The Trump administration is considering fast-tracking an experimental COVID-19 vaccine being jointly developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University in hopes it could be deployed in the United States to curb the spread of the virus.

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