ALBANY — Officials changed New York’s required COVID-19 quarantine guidelines to 10 days Tuesday to be in compliance with new federal guidelines — a four-day reduction from the two-week standard set by health experts at the start of the pandemic last spring.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new COVID-19 guidance this week that people exposed to the disease can end their quarantine period after 10 days without a test. The state adopted the same guidance Tuesday, allowing New Yorkers to end an isolation period after 10 days as long as they report no symptoms during quarantine.

“New York is leading the nation in quickly and efficiently administering the vaccine, so if we can continue that progress and the rest of us keep making smart decisions like avoiding gatherings, socially distancing and wearing masks, we will finally reach the light at the end of the tunnel,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

New Yorkers exposed to or potentially infected with COVID-19 must continue to monitor themselves for virus symptoms, including cough, fever, shortness of breath and chest pain, until day 14.

Individuals must self-isolate and contact their local health department or health care provider if symptoms develop in the subsequent four-day period to determine the need for a COVID-19 test, according to the governor’s office.

All out-of-state travelers to New York are required to quarantine for at least 10 days after arrival, but can become exempt from the full isolation period after receiving a negative coronavirus test after four days.

Cuomo continues to hold coronavirus briefings at 11:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as COVID-19 cases have surged across the state and nation through the fall. Increased infections are expected to persist through at least mid-January, or after the holiday season culminates with this week’s New Year’s celebrations.

The governor reminds New Yorkers at every briefing, which are at least one hour, to continue to strictly comply with all state COVID guidelines, such as wearing face masks in public, remaining a 6-foot social distance from others and avoiding gatherings of all sizes.

Gatherings of 10 people or more, including in private residences, continue to be illegal under Cuomo’s Nov. 11 executive order. Small, private gatherings have been traced to more than 70% of the state’s new coronavirus infections since September.

“As we approach the New Year and the end of the holiday season, all New Yorkers must remember one simple truth — celebrating smart stops shutdowns,” Cuomo said. “While the holidays have always been synonymous with socialization, the data shows vast majority of new cases are stemming from private gatherings. I understand not being able to join together with loved ones makes an already trying year, more difficult, but it also means we control our own destiny.”

Public health authorities finalize quarantine guideline decisions in each state. New York’s Coronavirus Task Force members implement the state’s safety guildelines through the pandemic with the Executive Chamber and state Health Department.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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