However, shorter quarantine might permit ongoing disease transmission from persons who develop symptoms or become infectious near the end of the recommended 14-day period. Interim data from an ongoing study of household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 were analyzed to understand the proportion of household contacts that had detectable virus after a shortened quarantine period. Persons who were household contacts of index patients completed a daily symptom diary and self-collected respiratory specimens for 14 days. Specimens were tested for SARS-CoV-2 using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Among 185 household contacts enrolled, 109 (59%) had detectable SARS-CoV-2 at any time; 76% (83/109) of test results were positive within 7 days, and 86% (94 of 109) were positive within 10 days after the index patient's illness onset date. Among household contacts who received negative SARS-CoV-2 test results and were asymptomatic through day 7, there was an 81% chance (95% confidence interval [CI] = 67%-90%) of remaining asymptomatic and receiving negative RT-PCR test results through day 14; this increased to 93% (95% CI = 78%-98%) for household members who were asymptomatic with negative RT-PCR test results through day 10. Although SARS-CoV-2 quarantine periods shorter than 14 days might be easier to adhere to, there is a potential for onward transmission from household contacts released before day 14.
Rolfes MA, Grijalva CG, Zhu Y, McLean HQ, Hanson KE, Belongia EA, Halasa NB, Kim A, Meece J, Reed C, Talbot HK, Fry AM. (2021). Implications of Shortened Quarantine Among Household Contacts of Index Patients with Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Infection - Tennessee and Wisconsin, April-September 2020. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 69(5152)