Skip to main content
Publish date:

Minnesota issues new guidance on COVID quarantine, aligning with CDC advice

Gov. Tim Walz announced the new guidance Monday.
Tim Walz

Minnesota will adopt the new guidelines issued last week by the Centers for Disease Control that reduces the acceptable quarantine period for someone who has been exposed to another person with COVID-19.

Previously, the recommended quarantine period after a person has been in close contact with somebody with the virus was 14 days.

This remains the best practice per the CDC as this covers the known incubation period for COVID-19, however last week it issued new guidance that said people could come out of quarantine after 10 days if they remain symptom-free, or after 7 days if you've had a negative test.

Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health said Monday it will be adopting these recommendations, with Walz noting that while the 14-day period remains the safest, the idea of reducing the acceptable quarantine period to 10 days or 7 with a test is to increase compliance.

"A 14 day quarantine is the best thing to do, but the science has been refined enough to say that if we could get more people who were exposed to quarantine for 10 days even, then that would have an impact on the spread of the virus," he said.

"This will make some adjustments to that based on what we can get compliance of," he added, noting that a 14-day quarantine "comes with a little bit of privilege" as not everyone can do so without worrying about work or finances.

Here is the new guidance regarding the 10-day or 7 day quarantines:

10 days

Shortening your quarantine period to 10 days after your most recent exposure to someone with COVID-19 may be considered if:

  • You have not tested positive for COVID-19, you don’t have symptoms, and you will continue to watch out for possible symptoms through day 14.
  • You will continue to mask, maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, and follow other prevention guidance.
  • You will isolate and get tested as soon as possible if you develop any symptoms of COVID-19.

7 days

"The updated guidance allows for the quarantine period to be shortened to seven days if the person meets all the above conditions and has a negative COVID-19 test result."

About the tests:

  • It must be a PCR test (from saliva, or nose, or throat) and not an antigen test.
  • It must be conducted at least five full days after the start of the quarantine period.
  • You may return to regular activities if you test negative and don't have symptoms, but must self-monitor for symptoms through Day 14.
  • You must continue to wear a mask, social distance, and follow other prevention guidance.

When you shouldn't quarantine for less than 14 days

Per MDH, shortening quarantine from 14 days is not recommended in the following scenarios:

  • You have a household exposure. This is because it is difficult for household members to quarantine separately and household exposures have a particularly high risk of transmission.
  • You are in a congregate living situation, including a long-term care facility, correctional facility, homeless shelter or other setting. In these settings, it can be very difficult for people to quarantine individually and there is higher risk of exposing multiple people, including those at high-risk of severe disease.
  • You work in health care settings, correctional facilities or shelters: The updated state guidance has specific language for health care workers. Because health care workers provide care for the most vulnerable and those most at risk for severe complications from COVID-19, they should be excluded for 14 days from working in health care setting. If a facility is experiencing a staffing shortage, the facility may ask the health care worker to return prior to the end of their 14-day quarantine.

Next Up

flickr - thin ice warning - USFWS Midwest

Snowmobiler goes through the ice on lake near Duluth

Ice thickness varies greatly throughout Minnesota right now.

snow, measuring snow, snow totals

Here's how much snow fell during the weekend winter winter storm

The Highway 2 corridor in north-central Minnesota was the bullseye.

Minneapolis Fire Department

Roof collapses on 3 firefighters in south Minneapolis

The fire happened at a resident east of Lake Nokomis on Sunday.

Joleigha Johnson

42-year-old Minnesota woman missing since December 1

She drives a white 2009 Chevrolet Impala.

icy roads, bad roads

20-year-old killed in crash on icy highway during Sunday snowstorm

More than a foot of snow had fallen in the area where the crash occurred.

Mike Zimmer

Vikings fans clamor for change after latest bad loss under Mike Zimmer

The "fire Mike Zimmer" tweets are raging on Twitter again.

Tony Oliva

Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat are finally heading to Cooperstown

The Twins legends were elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame on Sunday night.

Tanner Morgan

Report: Gophers to play in Guaranteed Rate Bowl

The Gophers will reportedly head to Phoenix to take on West Virginia.

Adam Thielen

Winless Lions beat Vikings on final play of game

Adam Thielen also left early with an ankle injury

Payton Willis / Gopher Basketball

Gophers improve to 7-0 on Willis' late 3-pointer

The Gophers earned back-to-back road victories for the first time since January 2017.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Woman in critical condition after being shot in the head in St. Paul

Officers responded to the incident at around 2:45 a.m. Saturday.


Tim Walz

Gov. Walz tells Minnesotans: The time to beat COVID-19 is now

The governor is pleading with Minnesotans to play their part as the state enters its darkest hour in the battle against COVID-19.

covid-19, coronavirus

CDC re-issues guidance on how COVID-19 can spread via the air

Last month, the CDC updated its guidance and then removed it. Now it's back up – sort of.

Governor Andrew Cuomo

Minnesotans going to New York will now need to quarantine for 14 days

Minnesota has now reached the COVID-19 quarantine threshold, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

covid-19, coronavirus

CDC says COVID-19 quarantine period can be cut to 10 or 7 days

You can come out of a 7-day quarantine following exposure provided you've had a negative test.

coronavirus, covid-2, doctor, masks

Six new coronavirus symptoms added to CDC website

The CDC had previously listed only three symptoms.

coronavirus, covid-19, doctor

Coronavirus: 10 more deaths in Minnesota, 142 new cases

All confirmed cases and deaths are from the latest reporting period, which ended at 4 p.m. Friday