Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of New York
On January 4, 2022, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) issued revised guidance that greatly reduces the quarantine time of individuals that tested positive or were exposed to COVID-19.
What are the details?
The guidance, which adopts the CDC’s updated COVID-19 isolation and quarantine recommendations, supersedes the DOH’s previous December 24, 2021 guidance, except for guidelines directed specifically towards healthcare workers. The CDC’s recommendations were issued on December 27, 2021.
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should follow these steps before returning to work:
- Isolate for five days, where day zero is the day the individual first experiences symptoms or, if asymptomatic, the day the individual took their positive test.
- If asymptomatic at the end of five days (or if symptoms are “resolving”), isolation ends, and the individual may return to work.
- The individual should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for the next five days.
The above guidelines apply to the general population, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.
However, these guidelines do not apply to individuals who are (a) moderately to severely immunocompromised or (b) unable to wear a well-fitting mask for five days after the five-day isolation period. Those individuals should generally continue to isolate for a minimum of 10 days.
Individuals who are exposed to the COVID-19 should follow these steps before returning to work, depending on their vaccination status:
- If not fully vaccinated – Quarantine for five days and wear a well-fitting mask while around others for five days.
- If fully vaccinated and eligible to obtain the booster shot (but have not yet done so) – Quarantine for five days and wear a well-fitting mask while around others for five days.
- If fully vaccinated and not eligible to obtain the booster shot – No quarantine required but must wear a well-fitting mask while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure.
- If fully vaccinated and received the booster shot (with the booster obtained at least two weeks before first date of exposure) – No quarantine required but must wear a well-fitting mask while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure.
Individuals who are exposed to the COVID-19 virus are encouraged to obtain a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or antigen (rapid) test on day five of exposure. If symptoms appear, an individual should quarantine and seek testing. If the test is negative, quarantine ends. If testing is not done (or if an individual tests positive), they should isolate according to the guidance above.
For more information, please see the links below:
What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links above and adjust their COVID-19 quarantine policy.