By Mark K. Cameron
As COVID-19 cases surge in Arkansas, the CDC has updated its guidance on isolation and quarantine for the second time in two weeks. In that guidance, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should quarantine unless they have been fully vaccinated, including all boosters, or had a confirmed positive COVID-19 test within the last 90 days. Individuals who are fully vaccinated should wear a mask when around others and monitor their symptoms for 10 days from the date of the last close contact with the infected person. These individuals should also get tested at least five days after the last close contact. Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 during the previous 90 days and come in close contact with someone with COVID-19 need only wear a mask when around others for 10 days. A close contact is defined as being less than six feet away from an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
Anyone who has not been fully vaccinated (including boosters) should quarantine after coming in close contact with someone with COVID-19. Quarantine means to stay away from other people at least five days, watch for fever or other symptoms, get tested immediately if symptoms develop, and get tested five days after the last close contact. If the test is negative, the individual should wear a mask when around others for another five days. If the test is positive, he or she should isolate for at least five days from the positive test and if symptoms develop, isolate for five days after the date of the onset of symptoms. Fully vaccinated individuals who test positive should follow these same quarantine guidelines.
As everyone knows, these guidelines are subject to change and will likely be updated in the coming weeks, especially with the uncertainty surrounding the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard. Current CDC guidelines can be found here.
Mark K. Cameron is an associate in the Labor and Employment Practice Group at Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP. His practice is focused on representing employers in litigation matters involving discrimination and Fair Labor Standards Act claims. He also works with non-profits on employment-related issues. 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.