The CDC recently revised its guidelines concerning quarantine and return to work after a worker has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. The new guidelines (COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation | CDC) draw a distinction between people who have been vaccinated against COVID and those who have not been vaccinated.
Unless a person has been fully vaccinated, the guidelines recommend quarantine if the person has been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19. By contrast, people who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who has COVID-19 unless the person having close contact has COVID symptoms. However, even if they do not have symptoms, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative. If a person experiences COVID symptoms, they should get tested and isolate immediately.
These new guidelines allow fully vaccinated workers to return to work immediately and avoid quarantine if they satisfy the above conditions after exposure to someone who has COVID. The previous guidelines recommended quarantine for all persons who had close contact with a COVID-infected person, resulting in loss of work time.
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