News & Insights

CDC Issues New Guidance On Covid-19 Focusing On Individual Decision Making

On August 11, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued updated guidance regarding COVID-19 that emphasizes individual responsibility, rather than regulation by the government. The CDC states that the new guidance’s purpose is to help the public better understand how to protect themselves and others if they test positive for COVID-19 and what actions to take if exposed.

The new guidance addresses several ongoing issues surrounding COVID-19, including vaccination, quarantine, and isolation. The CDC continues to recommend vaccination to protect people against serious illness, hospitalization and death. However, the guidance no longer differentiates between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

Perhaps the most significant change in the new guidance is the loosening of the quarantine requirement. The CDC previously recommended a five-day quarantine for those who were exposed to COVID-19 and not vaccinated. However, the CDC no longer recommends that those who have been exposed need to quarantine, regardless of whether they are vaccinated. The CDC now recommends that any individual who has been exposed needs to wear a mask for ten days and get tested on day six.

With regard to those who have tested positive for COVID-19, the CDC continues to recommend isolation for at least five days. After five days, if the individual’s symptoms have subsided and are improving, they can end isolation. However, the CDC does recommend that those who experienced moderate or severe illness due to COVID-19 isolate though at least day ten. This includes shortness of breath and being hospitalized.

The CDC no longer recommends screening testing of asymptomatic people without known exposures. These new guidelines will assist employers looking to loosen their COVID-19 workplace policies. Employers should keep themselves apprised of the ongoing developments regarding COVID-19 policies and how this effects their workplace requirements.