2/10/2021 Update: The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention updated its guidance concerning the need to quarantine following a “close contact” COVID-19 exposure. The updated guidance provides that two (2) groups of people do not need to quarantine following such an exposure:
- People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the three (3) months preceding the exposure and recovered and who did not develop any symptoms associated with COVID-19 as a result of the exposure; and
- People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within the three (3) months preceding the exposure who did not develop any symptoms associated with COVID-19 following the exposure.
On February 15, in a memorandum issued to all local health departments in the state, the California Department of Public Health adopted the portion of the CDC guidance concerning vaccinated individuals. The CDPH stated that it supports the CDC quarantine guidance concerning fully vaccinated individuals and provided the following three-part test to determine whether an individual qualifies as “fully vaccinated” and would not be required to quarantine following a “close contact” COVID-19 exposure:
- The individual is “fully vaccinated” (i.e., it has been at least two (2) weeks following the individual’s receipt of the second (2nd) dose in a two-dose series, or it has been at least two (2) weeks following the individual’s receipt of one (1) dose of a single-dose vaccine);
- The “close contact” exposure is within three (3) months following individual’s receipt of the last dose in the series; and
- The individual has remained asymptomatic since the “close contact” exposure.
Despite the updated quarantine guidance from the CDC and the CDPH concerning vaccinated individuals, employers must continue to comply with Cal/OSHA COVID-19 regulations, including quarantine requirements, which Cal/OSHA has not yet updated.
Under the current and operative regulatory scheme, employers must “exclude employees with COVID-19 exposure from the workplace for 10 days after the last known COVID-19 exposure to a COVID-19 case.” Cal/OSHA expressly provides that the COVID-19 regulations, including the quarantine requirement, apply with full force and effect to vaccinated individuals.
As a result, unless and until Cal/OSHA updates the COVID-19 regulations to expressly exclude vaccinated individuals from the regulations generally, or from the quarantine requirements specifically, employers must continue to exclude vaccinated employees from the employer’s worksites and facilities for 10 days following a “close contact” COVID-19 exposure.
The Cambria Community Services District will continue to follow the SLO County Public Health Department guidance on quarantine instructions. For more information on the SLO County Public Health Department quarantine instructions, please visit https://www.emergencyslo.org/en/quarantine-information.aspx