Advocacy News – December 3, 2020
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday announced alternatives to its two-week recommended quarantine for people who have been exposed to COVID-19.
The revised guidelines specify that, while the CDC currently recommends a quarantine period of 14 days, they are now offering “two additional options for how long quarantine should last.”
The guidelines specify, based on local availability of viral testing, for people without symptoms quarantine can end:
- On day 10 without testing; or
- On day 7 after receiving a negative test result.
After stopping quarantine, people should:
- Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
- If they have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact their local public health authority or healthcare provider.
- Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash their hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
CDC continues to specify that a 13-day quarantine remains the best way to prevent spread but recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus. The CDC is cautioning that people should continue to monitor for symptoms for the full 14 days after being exposed to the virus, especially if quarantine is discontinued early.
MIOSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Rules refer directly to CDC recommendations: “The employer shall allow employees with a known or suspected case of COVID-19 to return to the workplace only after they are no longer infectious according to the latest guidelines from the CDC and they are released from any quarantine or isolation order by the local public health department.”
However, legislation passed earlier this year, which codified the Executive Order on the topic, prohibits an employee from reporting to work if they test positive, have symptoms of COVID-19, or have come in close contact with someone with COVID-19. Furthermore, the legislation protects the employee from retaliation for choosing to stay home. The legislation refers to the now outdated 14-day period. The Chamber is working to amend the law to reflect the new CDC guidelines, among other things.
Additional details explaining the scientific rationale for the CDC changes can be found here.
Please contact Wendy Block with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.