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Dec 17, 2020

States adopt modified quarantine guidance for COVID-19 exposure

COVID-19Leave LawsSafety and Health 

Arizona, California, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana have followed in Washington’s footsteps and adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s new shorter quarantine options either in whole or in part. As we previously reported, the CDC maintains that its prior recommendation of a 14-day quarantine for exposed individuals is still the safest way to prevent COVID-19 (coronavirus) from spreading. However, the agency has authorized local health authorities to allow individuals who are exposed to a person with COVID-19 to end quarantine after 10 days if the exposed person hasn’t developed any symptoms, or just 7 days if the asymptomatic exposed person also tests negative for the virus within 48 hours before ending quarantine. These shortened alternatives recognize that tests are more widely available now and balance the risk of spreading the virus with factors such as the psychological and economic consequences of longer quarantines.

Tips: Allowing a shortened quarantine period would lessen the economic impact on your employees who may have had close contact with a positive individual and who have no paid leave available, but such a decision comes with an increased risk of spreading the coronavirus. Evaluate the risks of exposure in your workplace and determine if you will continue with a 14-day quarantine period or move to the shortened 10-day period or 7-day period with a negative test. Even if you apply a shorter period, instruct workers to continue to self-monitor for symptoms for the full 14 days. For questions about appropriate safety precautions or how to modify your exposure control plan, please contact your Vigilant safety professional. Your Vigilant Law Group employment attorney can assist you with questions about sick or exposed employees, leave benefits, and when it may be appropriate for employees to return to work.

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.