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Welcome to Shaw Law Group, PC’s law blog. We focus on employment law developments, particularly in California. The posts below are current as of the date of the posting. Nothing in this forum should be construed as legal advice, ’cause it isn’t. Please consult your regular counsel or hire us! Also – this is a public website, so communications are not privileged.

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Updated COVID-19 Guidance: Isolation and Quarantine

by Jennifer Shaw | | January 3, 2022

On December 30, 2021, the CDPH issued new guidance regarding isolation and quarantine related to COVID-19.  A link to the new guidance is included below.  The new guidance incorporates the CDC’s December 27, 2021, changes to its isolation and quarantine guidance and adds some new twists.  Here’s the scoop:

  • “Isolation” rules apply to individuals who test positive for COVID-19.  “Quarantine” rules apply for individuals who are exposed to someone who tests positive for or is diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • According to the Governor’s Executive Order issued on December 14, 2020, the quarantine and isolation provisions of the Cal/OSHA ETS are “suspended” to the extent they exceed the new CDPH guidance.  However, stricter local ordinances control over new CDPH guidance.  (Yes, they keep moving the ball.  Yes, it’s driving us all nuts.)  Here’s a link to the order:  https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/12.14.20-EO-N-84-20-COVID-19.pdf
  • The definition of “fully vaccinated” now includes individuals who have received their full dose of the initial vaccination and a booster (if they are eligible for a booster).
  • Everyone who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, previous infection, or lack of symptoms, must isolate for 5 days.  They can return to work if they have no symptoms or the symptoms are resolving, they test negative on the 5th day or later, and they wear a mask for 10 days total.  If they are unable or choose not to test, and symptoms are not present or are resolving, they can return to work after day 10.
  • The rules for individuals exposed to COVID-19 depend on whether the individual exposed is vaccinated.  Unvaccinated individuals (including those who are booster eligible but who have not received their booster, and those who have previously been infected with COVID-19) must quarantine for 5 days after their last contact with the COVID-19 positive person.  They must take a COVID-19 test on day 5.   If they test negative and have no symptoms, they can return to work after 5 days, providing they wear a mask for at 10 days total.  If they are unable or choose not to test, they can return to work after day 10.  Fully vaccinated employees (remember, that means they have received a booster if eligible) may remain at work so long as they wear a mask for a 10-day period after the close contact and test negative on day 5.

Cal/OSHA has not yet added an FAQ to discuss the new guidance.  I will post when they do.

Here is a link to the new guidance:  https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Guidance-on-Isolation-and-Quarantine-for-COVID-19-Contact-Tracing.aspx

Happy New Year!

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