By Katherine C. Campbell and Michael S. Moore
The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) recently announced that it will require a 14-day home quarantine for anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19.
Click here to view announcement.
The ADH guidelines define a “contact” for purposes of home quarantine as someone who was within 6 feet of the patient while they were infectious for more than 15 minutes, regardless of whether face coverings were worn. ADH defines the infectious period as beginning 48 hours before symptoms began or 48 hours before the positive test was collected. The ADH guidelines further state that if the exposed person has not developed symptoms of COVID-19 prior to the end of the 14-day home quarantine, they are free to resume normal activities including work.
This new guidance is important because it requires a 14-day quarantine for anyone in close contact regardless of whether the exposed person receives a negative test result after such exposure.
This ADH guidance is in line with the CDC’s recent guidelines. The CDC recently announced that a test-based strategy is no longer recommended to determine when to return employees to work. The CDC now recommends using a symptom-based strategy.
Click here to view strategy for isolation and precautions for adults
Click here to view discontinuation of isolation for persons in healthcare settings
The CDC now recommends that persons who have symptoms of COVID-19 may discontinue home isolation if: (i) at least 10 days have passed since symptom onset; (ii) at least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and (iii) other symptoms have improved.
Now more than ever, it is important that employers implement and enforce proper social distancing in order to limit the number of employees who will be required to home quarantine if another employee tests positive. To the extent possible, employees should limit contact with one another to circumstances that will not constitute “contact” under the above definition.
Michael S. Moore is a partner in the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group with an emphasis on wage-and-hour collective action employment discrimination defense. He specializes in litigation of discrimination cases, wage-hour collective actions, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, FMLA and employee and supervisor training.
Katherine C. Campbell is an associate in the Litigation Practice Group at Friday, Eldredge & Clark. She serves as litigation counsel for individuals and businesses in complex business and commercial disputes including employment claims, collective action wage and hour claims, and breach of contract matters. Disclaimer: The information included here is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for legal advice nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel. For more information or if you have further questions, please contact one of our Attorneys.