Pennsylvania Updated Quarantine Guidance

On December 4, 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced that it had amended its quarantine guidance to align with updated CDC guidance, which amended its guidance on December 2nd to permit public health authorities to reduce the COVID-19 quarantine period from 14 days in certain circumstances.

Under Pennsylvania’s revised guidance:

  • Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing if the person has experienced no symptoms, but the person must continue daily monitoring for symptoms until Day 14; or
  • Quarantine can end after Day 7 if a person has experienced no symptoms and received a negative COVID-19 test result on Day 5 or later, but the person must continue daily monitoring for symptoms until Day 14.

In any event, the quarantine period is measured from exposure, i.e. the last close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.  According to the CDC, “close contact” includes spending a total of 15 minutes or more within six feet of someone who has COVID-19 within a 24-hour period, regardless of whether masks are worn or not; providing care at home for someone who is sick with COVID-19; having direct physical contact with a person with COVID-19 (i.e. hugging or kissing); sharing eating or drinking utensils; or if a person sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.  People who have had COVID-19 within the past three months are exempted from the quarantine requirements, but may need to be tested if they become symptomatic and there is no other identifiable cause for their symptoms.

Pennsylvania’s revised guidance does not apply in healthcare settings or certain congregate settings (i.e. prisons and shelters), but does apply elsewhere, impacting other Orders and guidance previously issued.  For example, under the revised guidance, the quarantine period under the recently issued Travel Orders may be reduced from 14-days to either 10-days or 7-days, as applicable.  The Health Alert Network Advisory detailing the revised quarantine guidance is attached. 

Please contact a MacDonald Illig attorney if you have any questions regarding the revised quarantine period; when the 14-day, 10-day and 7-day quarantine periods apply; or any other issues that you may be facing.