In its updated guidance regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that fully vaccinated individuals who come into close contact with a suspected or confirmed positive case of COVID-19 don’t have to quarantine if they’re within three months of their last vaccine dose and they remain symptom-free after the exposure. A fully vaccinated individual is one who has received all doses in their vaccine series and who is at least 14 days past the receipt of the final dose. As we previously reported, Oregon and Idaho have already indicated that fully vaccinated people don’t have to quarantine after an exposure. However, unlike the CDC, those states’ guidelines don’t impose a three-month limit on the quarantine-free period following the vaccine.
The CDC’s new guidance still advises fully vaccinated people to continue to follow the guidance that we’ve all become familiar with to protect themselves and others, including wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from those outside our household, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, following CDC travel guidance, and following any applicable workplace guidance. It also recognizes that the risk of transmission from vaccinated people to others is still uncertain. The CDC anticipates updating the three-month limitation as more data becomes available.
Tips: The states of Arizona, California, Montana, and Washington haven’t yet weighed in on this issue, but the CDC’s new policy may encourage them to follow suit. We recommend waiting for state guidance before making any changes to your existing quarantine rules. As we stated in our previous article, if you choose to allow fully vaccinated employees in Idaho or Oregon to skip the quarantine period after a close contact, you may require them to show their vaccination cards. Contact your Vigilant Law Group employment attorney if you’re considering adjusting your quarantine protocols.