The CDC announced updated guidance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on August 11, 2022.
The update notes there is no longer a reason to treat vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals differently when it comes to COVID-19 exposures in most cases.
Here is what the update means for you as an employer:
- Social Distancing is no longer recommended.
- Those exposed to COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, need not quarantine. Instead, the recommendation is for those exposed to wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days and to get tested on day five of their exposure.
- Contact tracing is no longer recommended unless you are in a healthcare setting or other high-risk congregant settings like nursing homes or prisons.
- Testing of asymptomatic employees without known exposures is no longer recommended, which means you should stop testing asymptomatic, unvaccinated employees if you were doing so as part of your COVID safety protocols.
Employers: Remember there are still obligations under the general duty clause of OSHA to provide a workplace that is reasonably free from harm. Employers should continue to follow the CDC guidance for employees who test positive for COVID:
- Isolate for five days.
- Isolation may end after five days if no fever has been present for 24 hours without medication, if symptoms are improving, or if there were no symptoms.
- Wear a well-fitting mask while around others through day 10.
More information from the CDC may be found here and here.
The CDC is working on updating its tracking and evaluation tool, and OSHA is still evaluating permanent COVID-19 standards for healthcare organizations.