Vaccine-Quarantine-What’s It Mean? CDC Updates Guidance

More people are getting vaccinated–or jabbed as the Brits say–and it is causing confusion about certain COVID-19 protocols. In response, the CDC updated its guidance last week. Here are the takeaways:

The CDC has added an additional exception to the need to quarantine:

  • No quarantine has been required after close contact with an infected person if the person had COVID-19 in the last three months AND recovered AND was symptom-free.
  • Now, no quarantine is required after close contact with an infected person if the person has been fully vaccinated within the prior three months AND has no symptoms.

Contact tracing:

  • If an employee reports a COVID-19 infection, you perform contact tracing.
  • As part of the contact tracing, you can ask employees if they have been vaccinated and you can request proof of vaccination without running afoul of the ADA if:
    • You do not probe further as to why an employee has not been vaccinated.
    • You limit your request for proof to a vaccine receipt only and state you are not seeking additional medical information.

Vaccine proof provided:

  • One more step: have the employee certify he is free from COVID-19 symptoms before determining a return to work. Then no quarantine is required. Without that certification, it is back to the CDC quarantine guidelines.

Phew! This pandemic is a long, hard slog. But we can help. We have many COVID-19 resources like our COVID-19 Vaccination Policy Package or the COVID-19 Stay Healthy Kit, based on the CDC guidelines for contact tracing, cleaning logs, outbreak response–and more. Our goal is to find ways for employers to navigate their workplace compliance issues so they can get back to business.