The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently revised the guidance regarding when to return an employee to work following a positive COVID-19 test. These revisions shorten the period of time a person should self-isolate and adopt a symptom-based strategy rather than a test-based strategy. The CDC guidance may be found here.

Below is a summary of that new guidance:

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In addition, the CDC advises that employers should no longer require a negative test for an employee who has tested positive to be permitted to return to work. Instead, it recommends the symptom-based approach outlined above. Similarly, it is not advisable to accept a negative test conducted immediately after an employee was potentially exposed to COVID-19 as the illness may take days to manifest itself.

It is worth noting that the EEOC’s “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act,” which clarified that employers are allowed to require an employee to submit to COVID-19 testing before returning to work, remains in effect. Nevertheless, this practice is no longer advisable by the CDC.

As public health departments learn new information about COVID-19 every day, businesses should continue to monitor updates from the CDC and their public health departments.

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THIS DOCUMENT PROVIDES A GENERAL SUMMARY AND IS FOR INFORMATIONAL/EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE COMPREHENSIVE, NOR DOES IT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE. PLEASE CONSULT WITH COUNSEL BEFORE TAKING OR REFRAINING FROM TAKING ANY ACTION.


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