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Quarantine guidelines change for people exposed to COVID-19

UPDATED: Thu., Dec. 3, 2020

People who have been exposed to COVID-19 can now quarantine for 10 days instead of two weeks, as long as they have no symptoms of the virus.

The Department of Health issued new guidance that aligns with new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shortening the time necessary for people exposed to the virus to quarantine if they have no signs of illness.

If a person who is quarantined receives a negative COVID-19 test and has no symptoms, they can quarantine for just seven days under the new guidance, as long as they are tested within 48 hours of quarantine ending.

The Department of Health asked people who are in quarantine to continue wearing a mask and monitoring their symptoms for 14 days to avoid the small chance that they might spread the virus to others. If a person develops symptoms, none of these changes affect them, as they need to completely isolate.

Here’s a look at local COVID-19 numbers

The Spokane Regional Health District confirmed 312 new cases on Thursday, and five more deaths from the virus. There are more than 18,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Spokane County, and 60% are estimated to be recovered.

There are 139 patients in Spokane hospitals with COVID-19, and 92 of them are county residents.

The Panhandle Health District confirmed 255 new cases on Thursday, and one additional death. There are 65 North Idaho residents hospitalized with the virus.

Arielle Dreher's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.

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