People who have recovered from the coronavirus can safely interact with others for three months, suggests recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to three months as long as they do not develop symptoms again,” the guidance says. “People who develop symptoms again within three months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.”
It was the first acknowledgment that COVID-19 immunity may continue for at least three months, reported The New York Times.
In June, a study published in Nature Medicine suggested that levels of antibodies — protective proteins produced during an infection — could decrease over two to three months in infected people who showed mild or no symptoms, the Times reported. However, even after waning, low levels may still be present.
In the early days of the U.S. spread of COVID-19, researchers had hoped antibodies to the virus would last at least as long as a year.
The newest CDC guidance is included in its quarantine recommendations, which urge staying home for 14 days after contact with someone who is positive for the virus.
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