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CalOSHA updates employee quarantine and insolation

COVID-19 vaccination and boosters remain the most important strategy to prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19. California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updates Isolations and Quarantine guidance, which takes effect on January 14th, 2022. 

First, it is very important to understand the difference between the concepts of Isolation and Quarantine

Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.

Implementing the new guidelines, we have prepared three different scenarios to help you understand exclusion requirements due to COVID-19 exposure: 

Scenario 1.- Exclusion Requirements for Employees Who Test Positive for COVID-19 (Isolation).

Requirements apply to all employees, regardless of vaccination status, previous infection, or lack of symptoms.

Scenario 2.- Employees Who Are Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)

Requirements apply to employees who are:

Employers are not required to exclude asymptomatic employees in this category if:

Scenario 3.- Employees Who Are Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (No Quarantine Required).

Requirements apply to employees who are:

Employees do not need to quarantine if they:

In addition to the above 3 scenarios, pursuant to section 3205(c)(10)(E), when an order to isolate, quarantine, or exclude an employee is issued by a local or state health official, the employee shall not return to work until the period of isolation or quarantine is completed or the order is lifted even if the order exceeds the specified exclusion requirements in the ETS or CDPH recommendation.

***If employees covered by scenario 2 cannot be tested as required, quarantine must continue for at least 10 days as explained in the table. If employees covered by scenario 3 cannot be tested on day 5, employers should follow the ETS. For vaccinated close contacts, as of January 14, 2022, that means wearing a face covering and maintaining six feet of distance for 14 days following the close contact.***