As Santa Clara County grapples with an unprecedented surge in new COVID-19 cases, it is easing up on how long people have to quarantine for if they’re exposed to someone with COVID-19 or if they travel into the county from out of the region.

County health leaders on Monday said, effective immediately, they recommend people only quarantine for 10 days instead of 14.

“This new guidance shortens the length of quarantine from 14 days to 10 days from last exposure for people who remain asymptomatic,” Assistant Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sarah Redman said.

The 10-day quarantine also applies to people traveling into the county from more than 150 miles away.

“We feel the science that the CDC shared with us over the last several weeks, confirmed by the California Department of Public Health’s review, tells us that there is a minimal loss to safety by making the change from 14 to 10 days while there may be a benefit to getting folks back out into the workforce,” Redman said.

Earlier this month, the CDC also revised its guidelines, recommending that anyone who shows no symptoms quarantine for 10 days.

Redman recommends anyone who is quarantining get tested on the sixth day after possible exposure.

On Monday alone, more than 1,200 new cases were reported in the county. Health leaders worry another surge could be coming as people gather for Christmas and the New Year.

“I do still fear things are going to get worse before they get better,” Redman said.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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