IU has reduced its quarantine requirement from 14 to 10 days for students who have come into contact with someone who contracted COVID-19. The change was made after an update of the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, according to an email from IU spokesperson Chuck Carney.
The decision was made by the university in conjunction with the Indiana State Department of Health and the IU Medical Response Team. While the CDC still recommends a 14-day quarantine, the guidelines offer a 10-day quarantine for states and localities to enforce if they believe a shorter quarantine is possible without causing an outbreak.
The person in quarantine does not need to be tested but must not have symptoms during daily symptom reporting. The decision to shorten the quarantine period is based on the area’s number of cases, likelihood of infection and availability of testing resources.
Adrian Gardner, IU Medical Response Team director of contact tracing, said he does not anticipate the shortened quarantine having an effect on the number of cases on and off campus. Students are still encouraged to monitor their symptoms during the 10-day period and can end quarantine after those 10 days if none have been reported.
“The benefits outweigh the risks,” Gardner said. “The impact on mental health, the economy, and the willingness of people to name close contacts justified offering these as alternative strategies.”
Gardner said the university and response team recognized the benefits of a 10-day quarantine outweighed the risks. The probability of individuals being contagious and transmitting disease after a 10-day quarantine is approximately 1%, according to the CDC.
IU voluntary asymptomatic testing began Nov. 30 and is available for students. The testing will continue throughout the spring semester. Mitigation and symptomatic testing will continue throughout the spring semester.