College football and basketball have been a mess this year as programs attempt to keep COVID spread low and abide by government, public health, and NCAA/conference guidelines. This morning, the CDC released new recommendations that could help cut down on the chaos. The organization has shortened quarantine times for those who may have been exposed to the coronavirus (aka close contacts) to ten days without symptoms or seven days with a negative test.
- Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing and if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring.
- With this strategy, residual post-quarantine transmission risk is estimated to be about 1% with an upper limit of about 10%.
- When diagnostic testing resources are sufficient and available (see bullet 3, below), then quarantine can end after Day 7 if a diagnostic specimen tests negative and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring. The specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation (e.g., in anticipation of testing delays), but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after Day 7.
- With this strategy, the residual post-quarantine transmission risk is estimated to be about 5% with an upper limit of about 12%.
The SEC has been diligent about the 14-day quarantine for close contacts, which has decimated position groups and led to the postponement of several games this fall. With only a few weeks left in the college football season and college basketball ramping up, I expect the folks in Birmingham are scrambling to adopt these new policies as soon as possible.