As COVID-19 continues to spread nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control updated their self-isolation guidelines for people testing positive for the virus.
Instead of getting re-tested to make sure its cleared, the CDC now said a symptom-based approach is more effective.
"Most people are going to clear the infection within 10 days of having symptoms assuming that they're getting better," said Dr. Douglas Drevets, an infectious disease specialist at OU Med.
Dr. Drevets said the new data shows most people only need to self-isolate for 10 days, instead of 14, after symptoms appear or they receive a positive test.
Patients also need to be fever-free for 24 hours without the help of medicine before going back to work or school.
"This new science has led to the recognition that we can stop repeat testing for most folks and allow people to come back to work or to stop self-isolating after about 10 days," said Dr. Drevets.
The CDC said some people can continue to test positive for up to 3 months after getting the virus because small dead traces of the virus may still be in their nasal passages, but it doesn't mean they're contagious.
"For those of us who work in infectious diseases all the time, it is not an uncommon situation where you can find, in a sense microbial footprints in folks,” said Drevits. “But it doesn't mean that they're able to transmit the infection."