07.21.2020 | COVID-19

CDC Updates Guidance for Return to Work of Employees with COVID-19

COVID-19 Client Alerts:

CDC Updates Guidance for Return to Work of Employees with COVID-19


The CDC issued new guidance yesterday on the standards for discontinuing home isolation of people with COVID-19. Employers should follow these guidelines for determining when employees can return to work.

Prior to the update, employers were advised they could return employees with COVID-19 to the workplace under either a test-based strategy (where the return is contingent upon COVID-19 testing) or a symptom-based strategy (where the return is contingent upon a certain passage of time). Under the new guidance, a test-based strategy is no longer recommended, except in limited circumstances. Instead, employers should use the symptom-based strategy.

Changes to the symptom-based strategy have been made based on new information about the virus. The new criteria for returning employees to work under the symptom-based strategy are:

1.   In general, people with COVID who have symptoms may return to work under the following conditions:

  • At least 10 days* have passed since the onset of symptoms;
  • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications; and
  • Other symptoms have improved.

*For people with severe symptoms, 20 days may be required before they are no longer contagious.

2.   People who tested positive with COVID who have no symptoms may return to work 10 days after their test, assuming they do not develop symptoms in the meantime.

Per the current EEOC guidance, employers may require sick employees to obtain a return to work release from a health care provider.

Copyright © 2020, Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld LLP. All rights reserved. Please be assured that we make every effort to make certain that the information contained in this alert is current at the time this email was delivered. Because laws and legislation are constantly changing, please contact us if you are unsure whether this material is still current. Nothing contained herein should be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended to be for general information purposes only. We assume no liability in connection with the use of the information contained in this article. Given the rapidly evolving nature of legal and governmental responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, unfolding events likely will supersede many of the issues discussed in these updates. We encourage you to contact our lawyers directly for the most current information and counsel regarding legal and governmental responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact us to answer any questions you may have.

Murphy Austin’s Labor and Employment Law Team
Please contact one of our team members if we can be of assistance.

Aaron B. Silva, Labor and Employment Law Partner
916.446.2300, Ext. 3027

Shawn M. Joost, Labor and Employment Law Associate
916.446.2300, Ext. 3010

‹ Return to COVID-19 Client Alerts

Share this article
Share this article