The Louisiana Department of Health has updated its guidance to allow people who have been exposed to COVID-19 to quarantine for as few as seven days-even if they aren’t sick, test negative, and have no symptoms, before returning to school or work.
A 14-day quarantine remains the standard for people to follow to allegedly reduce the possibility of transmitting the disease and continues to be LDH’s recommendation for residents and staff who work at nursing homes and prisons.
But others can end their quarantine after seven days if they have tested negative and have not experienced symptoms. Quarantine can end after 10 days without a test if the person has not experienced symptoms.
Sadly, this is not a joke.
Quarantine used to be for sick people– not potentially sick people, or those who have been confirmed to not have a virus or illness.
Telling people to stay in their home is a form of house arrest.
For the 10-day quarantine, the risk that an individual who leaves quarantine early could transmit a virus to someone else if they became infected is about 1 percent, with an upper limit of 10 percent, LDH says.
For a 7-day quarantine, the risk that an individual who leaves quarantine early to potentially transmit a virus they don’t have to someone else if they became infected is about 5 percent, with an upper limit of 12 percent.
This is coming from the national U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest guidance.
According to the CDC: “Quarantine is used to separate someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 or another infectious disease and may develop illness away from other people. Quarantine helps prevent spread of the disease that can occur before a person knows they have the virus.”
Yet, the definition of quarantine is “a strict isolation imposed to prevent the spread of disease, … to exclude, detain, or isolate for political, social, or hygienic reasons”– on people who are sick.
Web MD says, “Quarantine is a way to separate and to restrict movements of someone who may have been exposed to the virus to check if they become sick.”
As of Dec. 2 there have been 3816 cases of the coronavirus.
This is out of 4.6 million people– or .08 percent of the population.
Because of the state shutdown as of October 2020, 9.4 percent of Louisianans are receiving unemployment benefits, down from 15 percent in April.