CDC Says Fully Vaccinated Employees No Longer Required To Quarantine
On February 10, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidance stating that fully vaccinated persons who have been exposed to COVID-19 are no longer required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:
Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine);
Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series; and
Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.
The guidelines provide that persons who do not meet all three of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Notwithstanding the ability to avoid quarantine, the CDC cautions that fully vaccinated persons who do not quarantine should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure. In addition, all persons should continue to follow and maintain the same protective measures (i.e., distancing, mask-wearing, etc.) regardless of their vaccination status. Finally, the CDC’s new guidance provided some additional considerations for patients and residents in healthcare settings.
We have previously advised that employers should be cautious about mandating that employees take the vaccine; but rather educating the workforce on vaccination benefits is the preferred approach. The new CDC guidance demonstrates yet another benefit of the vaccine that may be communicated to employees.