Recently, the CDC changed its guidelines for when individuals can end isolation after a Covid-19 diagnosis or symptoms. Employers should consider amending return to work rules to reflect the CDC’s position.
The CDC now suggests isolation in connection with Covid-19 for 10 days rather than 14 days with the following parameters:
If an individual thinks or knows they had Covid-19 and had symptoms of Covid-19, they can end isolation and be with others after:
- At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
- At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
- Symptoms have improved
Where an individual had severe illness from COVID-19 (was admitted to a hospital and needed oxygen), isolation may be recommended by a health care provider for longer than 10 days after symptoms first appeared (possibly up to 20 days) and isolation may need to be completed at home. However, if testing is available, a healthcare provider may recommend repeat testing for COVID-19 to end isolation earlier. In that situation, an individual can be around others (and return to work) after they receive two negative tests results in a row, from tests done at least 24 hours apart.
If an individual tests positive for Covid-19, but had no symptoms, they can end isolation 10 days after their positive test. Or, if testing is available, and a healthcare provider recommends repeat testing to end isolation earlier, an individual can return to work and be around others after they receive two negative test results in a row, from tests done at least 24 hours apart.