California Public Health Department Does Away With Quarantine for Fully Vaccinated and Asymptomatic Workers

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

On May 3, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released updated public health recommendations advising that fully vaccinated non-healthcare workers can refrain from quarantining after a known workplace exposure to COVID-19, but only if they are asymptomatic. This guidance applies only to non-healthcare workplaces. For the purposes of CDPH’s guidance, individuals “are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19  two or more weeks after they have received the second dose” of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after they have received the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The guidance also notes that employers that are “subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards must [still] ensure that employees are following the current ETS face covering and testing requirements.”

Employers may want to be aware of CDPH’s updated guidance’s impact on whether a fully vaccinated employee who: (1) experiences a known workplace COVID-19 exposure, and (2) is asymptomatic, would be entitled to leave under the 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law (SPSL), which, among other things, provides for supplemental paid sick leave due to a required quarantine or isolation related to COVID-19.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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