CDC updates quarantine guidelines for vaccinated workers
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In some cases, workers exposed to COVID-19 who have been vaccinated will not have to quarantine. The CDC recently updated its guidance on the subject, acknowledging that issues such as staff shortages have to be addressed.
Vaccinated healthcare works should still quarantine if exposed because there are still too many unknowns surrounding the vaccine, however in rare circumstances, healthcare workers may forgo quarantine under the following criteria:
- They are fully vaccinated and two or more weeks have passed since they received the second dose in a two-dose series, or two or more weeks have passed since they received one dose of a single-dose vaccine
They are within a three-month window of the last dose in the series
They have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure
According to the CDC, “persons who do not meet all three of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19”.
While it may be tempting, these new guidelines are only meant to be used in dire emergencies and should not become standard practice. Regardless of being vaccinated, according to the CDC, anyone exposed to the virus must monitor for symptoms for 14 days from initial exposure and test when advised, if symptoms appear. Prevention protocols such as wearing masks, frequent hand washing and social distancing should still be followed. As more information becomes available, the CDC will update its protocols. While we are moving in the right direction, it is still very much a wait and see situation.