Quarantine Periods Shortened


On December 27th, the CDC lowered its recommended isolation period from 10 days to 5 days for asymptomatic individuals who test positive regardless of vaccination status. Following the 5-day isolation period, the individual no longer needs to quarantine but should wear a mask for the next 5 days when in contact with others. If symptoms appear, the individual should remain in isolation for 10 days, mirroring the previous CDC recommendation.

Other recommendations apply to those who are either unvaccinated or have completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines more than 6 months ago without having received the booster. While not discussed in the CDC’s announcement, the shortened periods seem to be aimed at helping businesses overcome short staffing issues that have arisen since the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. Finally, unless prohibited by applicable law, employers may adopt stricter isolation and quarantine requirements, including testing before an exposed or infected individual may return to the workplace.


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