Coronavirus (COVID-19) Legal Alerts

Employment Law Update: CDC Updates COVID-19 Exposure Quarantine Guidance

12.10.2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revised its published guidance regarding quarantine time for individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

As an alternative to a 14-day quarantine period, the CDC’s updated guidance states that quarantine may end without testing, if after 10 days of potential exposure an individual has not reported any symptoms during any day of daily monitoring. If an individual is tested for COVID-19, quarantine can end after seven days if the results are negative, and provided the individual has not reported any symptoms during daily monitoring. The test specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation. Individuals applying either the 10 or 7-day quarantine option are required to monitor their symptoms daily through fourteen days notwithstanding, and if symptoms develop, immediate self-isolation is required, and such individuals should contact the local public health authority or their healthcare provider.

The CDC notes that while it still recommends the 14-day quarantine, these updated alternatives are designed to avoid “personal burdens that may affect physical and mental health as well as cause economic hardship that may reduce compliance” associated with the 14-day quarantine. The reduced time quarantine options may lessen such a burden and therefore encourage compliance.

Employers may consider reducing their quarantine time for employees who meet the guideline criteria, however should ensure that doing so complies with state or local health authority requirements.

If you are an employer with a question about this legal alert, please contact Tracy Armstrong or Ashley Morin, or any member of the Wilentz Employment Law Team.

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