The CDC has decreased the recommended isolation times for individuals who have tested positive for certain cases. Per the recommendation, employees who test positive for Covid-19 and either a. are asymptomatic, or b. have been vaccinated should not have to quarantine for longer than 5 days. This is a significant change from the widespread mandatory 10 day quarantines that previously applied.
Per the CDC, employees who have tested positive for the virus, have not been vaccinated, and do not have any symptoms may return to work after 5 days of quarantine, provided that they wear a mask around others for an additional 5 day period.
For vaccinated employees, the CDC recommends a similar 5 day quarantine period, followed by strict mask usage for an additional 5 days if symptomatic.
Employers would do well to review their current isolation requirements and COVID response plans. In many circumstances, this will result in a reduction of COVID related days away from work.
This change in recommendation follows behind the OSHA ETS requiring employers of 100 or more employees to perform weekly testing on their unvaccinated populations. While employers navigate compliance items associated with the ETS, it is reasonable to consider also adjusting their COVID leave and isolation policies as relevant to the updated CDC recommendations.
As always, WCMS stands ready to assist employers in navigating these policies and supporting a healthy workforce.
For more information, review the CDC press release Here