CDC COVID-19 Update On Employees Returning To The Workforce

Posted by Dr. Susan Nelson - PHC Medical Director on Jul 28, 2020 10:56:58 AM

COVID-19 return to work

The CDC has provided an Update On Employees Returning To The Workforce after a positive COVID-19 Test.

New guidance issued by the CDC for individuals with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home states that individuals may Return to Work under the following conditions:

  • At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Other symptoms have improved.

The CDC’s most recent update may influence a company’s policy or decision making process as far an employee’s ability to return to work, likely shortening the time an employee is off the job.

The update is based on research and findings and reflects the CDC guidance to a symptom-based versus testing-based strategy. 

Based on earlier CDC guidelines, using a testing based strategy, individuals testing positive for COVID-19 would remain in isolation and would only return to the workforce after having received two negative COVID-19 tests, taken more than 24 hours apart. Increased testing throughout the country has substantially increased the amount of time between testing and receiving results resulting in people remaining isolated for weeks awaiting test results while other remained in isolation because of a positive test result several weeks after their initial positive test. As research has produced more complete studies regarding the COVID-19 virus, more is now known about the virus and its infectiousness. 

Research now indicates that individuals with mild to moderate cases are unlikely to be infectious 10 days after the onset of their symptoms and individuals with more severe cases are likely not infectious after 20 days.

Research has also shown that recovered persons can continue to shed detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA for up to 3 months after illness onset but at considerably lower concentrations than during illness and at ranges where infectiousness is unlikely.


If you are interested in the CDC’s findings and research, it is available here:

cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/duration-isolation.html

To read more from the CDC regarding when to isolate and leave isolation, it is available here

cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/isolation.html

Per the CDC’s website,

 The CDC is learning more about COVID-19 every day, and as new information becomes available, CDC will update the information below. This guidance is based on available information about COVID-19 and is subject to change as additional information becomes available.”

With the changing and evolving guidance put out by the CDC, Physicians Health Center will continue to monitor CDC guidance and offer our clients information and how it may affect their company and workforce.      

Please visit our website at: physicianshealthcenter.com  for additional information on how we can help with your Occupational Medicine needs as well as information on COVID-19 as it relates to your business and services we provide. 

Topics: Testing, COVID-19, Return to Work