The Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) previously advised that it was not necessary for asymptomatic individuals to be tested even after a known exposure to COVID-19. This guidance drew sharp criticism from many, including the Infectious Disease Society of America. On September 18, 2020, the CDC reversed its course. Now, because of “the significance of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission,” guidelines state that anyone who has been within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes should be tested.
Additionally, the new guidance also advises that those waiting for test results should “self-quarantine/isolate at home and stay separated from household members to the extent possible and use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available” and that a “single negative test does not mean [the exposed individual] will remain negative at any time point after that test.” Therefore, people with known exposure should continue to self-isolate for 14 days even if their test results are negative. Employers should consider how this new guidance may affect employees and COVID-19 protocols.
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