Oregon and Idaho have announced that if at least 14 days have passed since a person fully completes their COVID-19 immunization (both doses of the vaccine), they don’t have to quarantine after a close contact exposure to a positive or presumed case of COVID-19. They are, however, still required to monitor themselves for 14 days. If they develop symptoms, they should isolate and seek testing. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) made the announcement in its COVID-19 investigative guidance for public health authorities and other medical providers. Idaho’s Vaccine FAQs also state that a person is considered immune 14 days after receiving the full course of the COVID-19 vaccine and doesn’t need to self-quarantine due to exposures that occur after this time.
Tips: You may require employees to show their vaccination cards. Masks, physical distancing, and all other safety protocols remain in effect even after vaccination. Oregon and Idaho haven’t specified whether employers may choose to require fully vaccinated employees to quarantine after close contact with a known COVID-19 case. Because such a decision would be driven by company policy rather than by public health authorities, the employee probably wouldn’t be eligible for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), if your organization is voluntarily applying the FFCRA until the tax credits fully expire on March 31, 2021. Contact your Vigilant Law Group employment attorney before deciding whether to require quarantine for fully vaccinated employees.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) delegates quarantine standards to local health authorities. As we previously reported, the quarantine period after exposure may be 14, 10, or 7 days depending on your policy and the availability of testing. So far, Arizona, California, Montana, and Washington haven’t weighed in on the intersection of vaccines with quarantine requirements, but you should pay attention to local announcements. Vigilant will update members on any changes in future newsletters.