CDC Revises Quarantine Guidelines

Just when we all got used to a required 14 day quarantine for COVID exposure—the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has changed the rules on us.  The agency issued revised guidance this week for asymptomatic individuals.  Specifically – if you (or your employee) had close contact with an infected person, the quarantine is now 10 days – or – 7 days plus a negative test.

As reported in late October, the CDC revised its definition of “close contact” with a Covid-19 positive individual to include multiple brief exposures.  As a reminder, the CDC defines close contact as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, starting from 2 days before the onset of illness or a positive test result. 

Despite this new guidance, the CDC continues to recommend a 14-day quarantine “as the best way to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.”  And this newly revised CDC guidance has no impact on state-imposed rules.

The timing of this revised guidance is especially significant with many individuals recently returning from holiday travel significantly increasing the risk of exposure and unknowing transmission.  Employers are advised to continue to monitor guidance from state and local health departments before modifying existing policies. 

Meredith S. Campbell Chair, Employment and Labor Group
Shulman Rogers [email protected] | T 301.255.0550