COVID-19 Exposure Chart: Updated Guidance on How to Handle Quarantining, Testing, and Masking
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recently revised its guidance regarding quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 and isolation after testing positive. In both instances, the length of time an individual must quarantine or isolate has been reduced to five days with additional precautions taken until day ten based on vaccination status.
- If you were exposed to COVID-19 and are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines (including any booster doses), you do not have to quarantine unless symptoms develop, but you must get tested at least five days after last exposure and wear a mask for ten full days after last exposure. If symptoms develop, isolate immediately, get tested, and stay home until you know the results. This guidance also applies if you were exposed to COVID-19 and have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 90 days (meaning you tested positive using a viral test), except you do not have to get tested at least five days after last exposure.
- If you were exposed to COVID-19 and are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines or are unvaccinated, you must quarantine for at least five days and get tested at least five days after last exposure, even if you do not develop symptoms. You must also wear a mask and watch for symptoms for ten full days after last exposure. If symptoms develop, isolate immediately, get tested, and stay home until you know the results.
- If you test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, you must stay home for at least five days and isolate from others. You must also wear a mask for ten full days after last exposure. If you had symptoms, you may end isolation after five full days if you are fever-free for twenty-four hours and your symptoms are improving.
Employers should take care to educate their workforce on the new guidance and consider implementing a written COVID-19 or infectious disease policy that incorporates the CDC's guidance to minimize cases in the workplace. Step by step decision trees or charts that summarize what to do if you have been exposed to COVID-19 — such as MacDonald Illig's COVID-19 Exposure Chart linked below — can be a useful educational tool to supplement the CDC's guidance.
If you have any questions regarding the updated guidance, or how to implement it at your business, please contact a MacDonald Illig attorney.